Seattle: Graffiti on ATMs and banks damage $thousands in May Day lead-up

via corporate news. May 4:

Police: Anarchists ‘made it very clear they were going to cause trouble’

Even before Tuesday’s destructive May Day protests, police say they saw an increase in graffiti that led them believe anarchists were planning to cause trouble.

In addition to various spray painted anarchy symbols, officers found graffiti calling for a “general strike” on May 1 and even a message that read “kidnap the mayor.”

With the graffiti, the vandals “made it very clear they were going to cause trouble,” according to SPD Det. Chris Young.

“There was a lot of (anarchist tagging) all of a sudden in March,” Young said. “They were pretty indiscriminate. They would hit anything.”

Young said a man and woman spray painted an anarchy symbol on a pillar at the Russell Investment Center, which police say will have to be partially replaced at a cost of nearly $14,000. Police believe the same couple did $700 worth of damage at a downtown bank.

“They covered an ATM with paint and did a bunch of other graffiti,” Young said.

When officers found the “kidnap the mayor” message spray painted in a downtown alley, they treated it as a serious threat to Mayor Mike McGinn.

In the early hours of Wednesday, someone threw rocks through several windows at McGinn’s Greenwood home. The mayor and his wife were home at the time, but nobody was injured.

Police are still investigating eight other pre-May Day acts of graffiti, with most of the cases in the Central District.

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