Reporting and removal of graffiti is first step in eliminating gang activity

Dearborn, Mi.— Dearborn Police are looking for information from the Dearborn community about acts of graffiti that have been occurring throughout the City of Dearborn and neighboring cities, presumed to have been committed by juveniles associated with gangs.

Activity in the summer and fall have prompted this request.

On Thursday September 30, 2009, in the evening hours, Dearborn Police patrol officers observed two Hispanic males, one a Detroit resident, one a Dearborn resident, spray-painting the walls of the Sparkle Car Wash on Telegraph.

As officers approached, they observed the two juveniles attempt to conceal their hands. Upon speaking with the youths, they admitted to spray-painting symbols related to the Latin Counts gang that is regionally based in southwest Detroit.

After interviewing the youths involved, they admitted they came into Dearborn as Latin Count “Apprentice/Associates” to cover a rival group’s graffiti with Latin Count Graffiti.

Apprentice/associates are described as youths, 12-14 in age, who have loyalty to a gang, may wear gang-related attire and may engage in juvenile delinquent activities, such as graffiti and breaking and entering.

The rival group is identified by the initials “CTN”. CTN is a very small group of Dearborn youths that are associated with defacing public parks, sidewalks, stop signs and parking structures between the dates of August 17 and August 25, 2009, with CTN graffiti.

The youths associated with the “CTN” graffiti were eventually identified and are Dearborn residents. These youths admitted to five different incidents of graffiti. The youths and their families were advised of the extent of their actions.

The youths are currently being charged through Dearborn’s 19th District Court Juvenile Division and are being required to give back to the community through extensive hours of Community Service.
The youths associated with the Latin Counts were also charged with malicious destruction of property.

The case involving the Dearborn youth is being handled by the 19th District Court Juvenile Division, while the other is being handled through the Wayne County Juvenile Court.

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said, “Our youth are our community’s future and we must all get involved and assist these children in finding a path that promotes family, citizenship and community”.