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Police seek help to catch defacers

Police are asking the public to provide them leads to help catch the vandals who defaced the new Veterans Wall of Honor in War Veterans Park.

Late Friday or early Saturday morning, the letters "BaB" were spray-painted on the memorial, near the William O. Smith Recreation Center, honoring the area's soldiers who died during both World Wars, the Korean War, Vietnam and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The large monument and a walkway containing engraved bricks furnished by donors were unveiled on Veterans Day.

City Police Chief Terry Schnell said similar markings have been painted in a "very sporadic and erratic" series of attacks during the past six months on public buildings, bridges, viaducts and businesses.

"There is no set pattern, but they crossed the line with desecrating the memorial," Schnell said Monday.

He said investigators suspect that a juvenile gang called "The Third Street Boys" may be responsible for the attacks.

Mayor David Carucci said Crandall's Memorials, the builder of the memorial, and Baire Janitorial are working to remove the substance from the glazed stone surface. Steam-cleaning removed some of the substance, but a chemical cleaner had to be ordered to complete the job.

The city is considering offering a reward for information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators. Those with information are encouraged to call police at 376-5678.

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