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Spray-painting vandals arrested

This message was spray painted on an electrical box behind the Payless Foods and Ace Hardware in Freeland. - Gayle Saran
This message was spray painted on an electrical box behind the Payless Foods and Ace Hardware in Freeland.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

The case of South Whidbey’s spray painting vandals has been solved. And it didn’t help them that their vandalism was directed at just the people they didn’t want coming after them — the cops.

Using a spray painted on an electrical box in Freeland that read “Cops suck” as a starting point, Island County Sheriff’s deputies found out last week just who had done the graffiti.

Deputies arrested two men in connection with the vandalism, booking them on several charges of malicious mischief in the second and third degree in connection with vandalism at Trinity Lutheran Church, a Freeland landscape business, an Island Transit shelter and buses, Whidbey Telephone and South Whidbey High School.

Arrested last week were Jason Simonson, 20, Freeland and Loren Gabelein, 19, Clinton. Two South Whidbey girls, ages 14 and 15, were also arrested in connection with the crimes and were referred to juvenile authorities.

According to Jan Smith spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, the case has been referred to the Island County prosecutor.

The malicious behavior took place over a period of time, but the worst day for it was Sept. 22.

The case was solved when Deputy Laura Price interviewed one of the juveniles involved in the activities. The juvenile detailed the group’s activities which led to the arrest of the others.

“We encourage any business owners whose property has been damage to come forward and file a criminal complaint for the damages, if they haven’t done so already,” Smith said.

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