Art Alley vandals caught on camera


SEARCY, Ark.- Art Alley in downtown Searcy was vandalized over the weekend. The culprits spray painted over some of the murals and did graffiti on the buildings.

“It’s not graffiti alley,” says Suzanne Raiford, “It’s art alley.”

Raiford owns Daisy’s Lunch Box whose back entrance let’s out into Searcy’s colorful Art Alley. She says she got several texts Saturday telling her what happened.

“It makes me really upset because people have spent hours on hours every week painting these things,” says Raiford.

Searcy police immediately began to investigate.

“There are very good cameras in that area,” says Sgt. Todd DeWitt, SPD.

Those cameras feed into Raiford’s office and as it turns out, they saw it all.

“See she had the silver paint,” says Raiford pointing to the footage on her computer.

First a pair spray paints a section right across from the back of Raiford’s restaurant. It happened close to midnight according to time stamps on the surveillance footage.

Next four more people do even more damage around 2 am.

After studying the footage, Raiford knows their every move. “They paint Aladdin at 2:06,” she says pointing to the video again.

Police estimate the damage at about $1000.

Think Art Project, the organization behind Art Alley, posted on Facebook giving the perpetrators a chance to come forward without charges being pressed, but Raiford doesn’t think they should get off so easily.

“If there’s no punishment involved it’s going to set a standard for the next group of kids that want to come in and vandalize that nothing’s going to happen,” says Raiford.

Police say two of the suspects turned themselves in so far. They are still looking for the other four.

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