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3 Flushing teens arrested on graffiti charges: 109th

By John Tozzi

The three youths were arrested around 3:30 p.m. Jan. 26 after a witness said they were allegedly defacing a Citibank billboard in the vicinity of College Point Boulevard and 41st Avenue, according to Lt. John Schneider of the 109th Precinct. The suspects, who all live in the area, were found with a graffiti marker, a knife and two bags of marijuana, police said.About an hour after making the graffiti arrest, officers seized an undisclosed amount of cocaine in the area of 150th Street and Willets Point Boulevard in Whitestone, police said. Three men, two 30-year-olds and one 40-year-old, were arrested after what police described as a “vicious fight” with officers. That investigation was ongoing.Schneider said police saw three suspects making graffiti near College Point Boulevard and 41st Avenue. The suspects fled east on 41st Avenue and police, with a witness in the back of the car, pursued them and arrested two. One was found with a knife and the other had two bags of marijuana, police said. The third was caught nearby at the intersection of Frame Place and Sanford Boulevard with a graffiti marker, police said. The arrest was made by Officer Matt Degnan.”Although graffiti is not like robbery and burglary, from what we found out it leads to it,” said 109th Detective Kisoo Kim.The three suspects, all 16-year-old males, were identified as Thomas Candelaria, Moses Polanco, and Wellington Bravo Jr. They were charged with criminal mischief, making graffiti and criminal possession of a weapon, controlled substance and graffiti implements, police said.”Flushing is a beautiful community and these tags and where it's on walls starts to damage the texture of the community,” Schneider said.Noting that graffiti is a priority for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the commanding officer of the 109th Precinct praised his officers for the arrest.”It's just a pain in the neck when you drive through a nice area,” said Deputy Inspector Thomas Cea.Reach reporter John Tozzi by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 188.

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