By Joe Johnson
Winder police have arrested three people for spray painting more than a dozen downtown sites with obscene words and symbols.
21-year-old Lee Mason and 17-year-old Destineigh Vanwinkle were arrested and a 16-year-old suspect was referred to Juvenile Court.
According to police, numerous locations downtown were vandalized by graffiti early Monday morning. In total, police found more than a dozen locations that had been spray-painted with commercial-grade marking paint, including including a new bridge on the Wilkins Greenway walking trail, The Barrow County Historic Courthouse, The Historic Gainesville Midland Train and Depot, a church, numerous downtown businesses, the Winder Masonic Lodge and other properties.
Each suspect has been charged with nine counts of interference with government property, six counts of criminal trespass and one count of second-degree criminal damage to property
. Drug possession and theft charges are also pending as a result of items located during the search warrants that Winder Police executed as part of the investigation of these cases.
Police Chief Jim Fullington said cooperation from citizens was key element in identifying the suspects.
"Winder Police were able to make these three arrests following a culmination of work by one of our detectives, our crime analyst, our patrol officers and even our Chief of Police who worked on this case. Winder Police would also like to recognize the citizens who came forward to assist by either providing information or reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any suspects. As a result of the cooperation between the Winder Police Department and our community, this case was able to be solved in under 72 hours," WPD stated in a prepared release.