ENID — Nearly a dozen residents, business owners and a school have seen their properties hit with gang-like graffiti in the past two weeks, leaving police wondering whether it's the work of gangsters or imitators.
Police have identified at least one minor youth as a suspect and are working on obtaining an arrest warrant for another man, police Capt. Dean Grassino said Wednesday. The police will turn their findings on the teenager to the state Office of Juvenile Affairs.
"If someone claims to be a gang member, we're going to treat them as a gang member,” Grassino said. "If they dress the part and they claim to be that, then we're going to treat it as such.”
The tagging started in July when police received a report of the word "blood” painted on an abandoned roadside utility box. Bloods are a gang. Later, someone painted "crips” over the tag. The Crips are a rival to the Bloods, Grassino said.
Grassino said the problem may be connected to cousins from Enid and Oklahoma City who may be in rival gangs. Like in any city, gangsters are known to reside in Enid, Grassino said.
"Maybe not to the same extent like Oklahoma City or Tulsa ... but we are certainly not a blind eye to it,” he said.
Grassino said the area is not necessarily noted for gang activity, and the tagging incidents are unusual for Enid, he said.
No injuries have been reported with the tagging.