The Berkley Public Safety Department said the two teens responsible for spray-painting more than 30 pieces of property in the city will be cleaning up their graffiti.

The Berkley Public Safety Department said the two teens responsible for spray-painting more than 30 pieces of property in the city will be cleaning up their graffiti.

Photo by Mike Koury


Teens who spray-painted Berkley properties now cleaning up graffiti

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published February 4, 2020

 A truck belonging to a Berkley business was one of many things spray-painted in the city in December.

A truck belonging to a Berkley business was one of many things spray-painted in the city in December.

Photo by Mike Koury

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BERKLEY — In December, multiple teenagers were arrested by Berkley police after they were caught spray-painting buildings in the city.

After receiving reports about vandalized buildings, city property and vehicles, the Berkley Public Safety Department arrested three 16-year-olds when they allegedly attempted to spray-paint a concession stand at the baseball fields.

In all, Berkley police believe the teens spray-painted more than 30 pieces of property in December. Through their investigation and in speaking with the teens’ families, Berkley Public Safety Department Detective Lt. Andrew Hadfield said they admitted to committing the vandalism.

“Recently, they identified what their tags were, as well as the businesses,” he said. “We currently have them in a program working on cleaning up all of the … spray paint that they did in Berkley and working with them in regards to some community service hours, as well as some educational programs, understanding the cause and effect of spray-painting personal property.”

Hadfield noted that only two of the teens, both from Huntington Woods, are going through this process. The other teen, from Berkley, was with the two Huntington Woods teens but did not spray-paint that night and was not involved in the other incidents, so his case was closed.

Because the teens haven’t had any past troubles, it was decided between police and the families that it was best to make sure the teens learn a lesson from this experience and fix what they’ve done versus going to court.

“We want to make sure that we were teaching a lesson through this and making sure that they understood that,” Hadfield said. “We usually use more local-based programs, including agreements with the police department or youth assistance to kind of run those programs. If they don’t complete it as requested, they can then be referred up to the juvenile court as originally investigated for.”

Hadfield said the teens have taken part in community service and have been able to clean up some of the spray paint, but weather has delayed the cleaning and repainting a bit.

“We’ve given them a couple months to get most of it cleaned up, obviously hoping we get some warmer weather here and they get outside,” he said.

He said police are also monitoring the teens to make sure they stay out of trouble.

“It’s nice to have a ... program where we can keep an eye on the kids and work with them so they can understand the difference between right and wrong, not just punishing them and sending away,” Hadfield said.

One of the businesses that was hit with spray paint was Aero Pacific Custom Draperies on 12 Mile Road. In addition to painting the side of the building, the teens also sprayed a nearby electric box and a van belonging to a neighboring business.

Owner Mitchell Moses said one of the teens recently visited the business to apologize, take responsibility and clean up the spray paint. The tag already has been removed, though Moses said that was his doing.

“I was pretty happy to see that, No. 1, he’s going to clean it up, and No. 2, that he admitted it,” he said. “I assume there’s some remorse. He’s a young kid. I assume he’s not going to do that activity, that behavior again, learn from it and move forward.”

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