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Rash of graffiti alarms neighbors

Warmer spring temperatures means teens who’ve been cooped up all winter long are out and about trying to mark their territory and intimidate neighborhoods, according to Muscatine Police.

Suspected gang-related graffiti showed up in seven locations in one neighborhood over the weekend.

A heavy-duty cleanup is underway for Shannon Miller, whose Muscatine home is now a canvas for gang graffiti.

“It’s crazy,” said Miller. “You think you live in a peaceful neighborhood and it’s like, seriously?”

Her husband’s truck was also spray-painted Saturday night, along with three other vehicles in the neighborhood and two more garages.

“It was the same B-word on the vehicles and the houses, it was just gang symbols,” she said.

Police say it’s the Latin King Nation gang that’s likely responsible for the graffiti.

They say when the temperatures warm, the gangs know all they need is an agenda and a can of spray paint.

But, Miller says it’s more personal than that for her family.

She thinks they’re targets because of her 12-year-old son’s dispute with a classmate.

“Threatened to burn our house down, threatened to kill us, threatened to slash my husband’s tires and then a couple of days after that, this all happened.”

Police say it could be a combination of the two.

They have some persons of interest, but no arrests have been made.

They say if the vandalisms turn out to be gang-affiliated, the suspects could have harsher punishment because of the city’s zero-tolerance policy.

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