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Graffiti'd messages of unity draw scrutiny from police, community

Meg Hilling
October 24, 2017 10:50 PM

FARMINGTON, N.M. – Even the most well-intentioned actions can sometimes be poorly executed. And one person in the Four Corners region is about to reckon with that reality after tagging signs, mailboxes and dumpsters all over San Juan County with a heart containing the numeral  1.

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A symbol, most are supposing, for a message of “one love.”

"His motivation is good, but he went about it poorly," said Ethan Fincher, a San Juan County detective. "It started out by us seeing it. We asked around about what it meant, where it came from, and we realized it hadn't been investigated. And so since it had become such a big deal, (the) public had been reaching out to us, wondering what we were doing with it."

One love. It has been popping up everywhere.

Now, despite the friendly message the graffiti seems to represent, local law enforcement say it is still a crime.

"At this point, if the damage is over $1,000, that changes the crime type. But at this point, every piece of graffiti is its’ own count. It is, its' own charge,” Fincher said. “It is a different crime.”

So far about 60 spray-painted “one love” symbols have been found.

The community is meeting the message with mixed reviews. Some say it has reminded them to love, while others are asserting that it’s wrong to deface someone else’s property.

Deputies say they have identified the suspect, but are not yet saying who it is.

Credits

Meg Hilling

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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