Three Arrested in Graffiti Frenzy

Jake Wasikowski

Three Arrested in Graffiti Frenzy

CREATED Feb. 14, 2013

Numerous locations in South Omaha are hit with graffiti, but police have now tagged the suspects.  Authorities say the group of vandals walked from 36th & Harrison St. for about 5 miles to the northeast and spray painted commercial buildings along the way.  They tagged about 20 places in areas between 36th & Harrison St., and 20th & Dorcas St.

For months, Roy Shumaker and others have worked hard to restore a building on south 20th & Castelar St.  They're making progress to build apartments inside, but the continued graffiti on the outside stains their hard work.

"It's a horrible feeling to come here every day to work, and to see it's been tagged again from another gang member and we would just appreciate that these guys would stop this not just here but all around town." :57 people work hard to keep their properties up," Shumaker explained.

It was near that building Wednesday night where police arrested 23-year-old Daniel Melendez for 5 counts each of Criminal Mischief and Graffiti, 18-year-old Victor Garcia for 1 count each of Criminal Mischief and Graffiti, and a 17-year-old boy for 10 counts each of Criminal Mischief and Graffiti.

"My 4-year-old grandson wouldn't even do that, it serves no purpose so find something better to do.  If a 17-year-old kid thinks he can go out and tag it because it looks really cool, get a life," said Larry Schaver, a South Omaha resident.

Authorities say they will continue to investigate these vandalisms, and more charges could be coming.