Reward Offered for Graffiti Arrest

Parents dropping off children to school called deputies about the racial slurs

When San Marcos parents dropped off their kids at San Elijo Elementary School Thursday morning, they saw a number of signs defaced with graffiti.

The messages were so disturbing, parents contacted the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Most of the graffiti, which included slurs against African-Americans and Muslims, was spotted in the area of San Elijo Rd & Questhaven. Some also mentioned Democratic Presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.

Removal crews were quickly called out to remove the graffiti. 

"Besides defacing property on the one side, also spewing hatred, it's unconscionable," said San Elijo Hills resident Jason Lee.
His neighbor Jo Matson believes the culprit should be caught and punished. "It's dividing our country, it's not going to make it better, it's only going to make things worse," said Matson.

San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Jim Nolan said the graffiti was hand painted, and evidence was collected from the scene.  But he wouldn't reveal if that evidence included fingerprints.  "We have some physical evidence from the scene that we are processing to help assist us in locating the suspect or suspects in this case," said Nolan. 

San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond said the city is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.  "We're very concerned about it.  We've got all of our city crews watching out for anymore graffiti and our sheriff's department is very vigilant as well," said Mayor Desmond.

Deputies were treating the case as a hate crime. They had no leads on any suspects Thursday and were asking for help solving the crime.

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