WANTED IN SAMMAMISH --
Police in the Klahanie community near Sammamish in King County are hoping you can help catch the people responsible for spray-painting hate-filled messages on cars and buildings.
We are blurring some of the highly offensive graffiti.
Altogether in four nights in February, the suspects tagged 15 structures and three cars. They wrote racist slurs, painted swastikas and clowns and on the last day, wrote somewhat of an apology that said, "Not hate, just bait," with multiple ‘sorry’ tags and frown faces.
Police say there are even more tags that haven't been reported.
"Whoever is responsible was very busy over quite a few days, it happened to be the same days of Winter Break, everybody was off school, so its most likely correlated,” said King County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Abbott. “This is hard for a community like Klahanie, it's a nice community where people want to be able to live and not be affected by something like this and we owe it to them to find out who’s responsible for this and we need the public’s assistance to find out who’s responsible and we know these people, most likely kids, are responsible and they're talking about it and we need somebody they’ve told to come forward and tell us about it."
None of the houses or cars that were targeted with racist messaging had families of that race at those locations, but police say there are many African-American families that live in Klahanie that saw and were impacted by the graffiti.
Members in the community held a rally to show their support for their neighbors. "I don`t believe that this is a symbol, or something of this community. What we saw today, this gathering, all the people, all the neighbors coming out, every walk of life, every type of religion was here, everybody was smiling and loving. This is this community,” said Rabbi Shalom Farkash with Chabad of the Central Cascades.
Organizers used paper to cover the offensive graffiti and encouraged people to write messages of love, hope and peace.
If you know anything that can help identify the graffiti suspects, use the P3 Tips App on your smart phone to submit the information to Crime Stoppers, or call the hot line at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).