Police probe mural-sized graffiti
July 5, 2006
The Park City Police Department is investigating two graffiti episodes in which the people left what the authorities consider mural-sized pieces of art, unusual in Park City, where most graffiti is less ambitious.
One of the pieces was put on a structure off the S.R. 224 entryway, across the highway from the landmark McPolin Farm. The graffiti on the structure, which is known as the ‘milking parlor’ and was once used by dairy farmers years ago, was black and white spray paint, police Lt. Rick Ryan says.
The police say that someone noticed the graffiti at about 10 a.m. on June 30 and reported it to the department. Ryan says that the police believe that the graffiti was put on the structure the night before it was discovered.
"We get calls pretty quick when things go on buildings," Ryan says.
The other big piece of graffiti was discovered on the Rite Aid wall facing Homestake Road, off Iron Horse Drive, Ryan says. The graffiti on the Rite Aid building was reported at about 3:30 a.m. on June 30, Ryan says. The graffiti is made of white spray paint and spells out the word ‘Wurm,’ Ryan says.
He says that the two cases may be connected.
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"Artists have certain trademarks," he says, adding, "It’s like a signature."
He admits that the police have little information. He says that the police hope that someone approaches the department with a tip but that investigators are also trying to link the graffiti to a person. He says the police are unsure if the graffiti artist has previously created a piece in the city.
Ryan says the police do not suspect gangs were involved. Gangs frequently use graffiti to designate where they are active, Ryan says, but the two pieces are more elaborate than those that gangs typically use.
"They spend a lot of time on it rather than going up and marking territory," he says, describing the artists who created the Park City graffiti.
Ryan says that the perpetrators potentially face a class C misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief. If convicted of such a charge, a person faces a sentence of up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.
He estimates that it will cost about $50 to remove the graffiti.
The milking parlor structure with the graffiti sits at the northern edge of the city limits, nearby where the Police Department’s jurisdiction ends. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office has not received an unusual number of graffiti complaints recently, says Sheriff Dave Edmunds, who equates graffiti with gangs.