A rash of vandalism has marked several businesses and properties in recent weeks, sparking a call for assistance from the Cloquet Police Department and a reward offer from a local business.
At least 13 incidents of graffiti tags have been reported since Sept. 5, according to CPD Commander Dave O’Connor.
The spike in incidents has mostly occurred in the downtown area of Cloquet — between Avenue B and Carlton Avenue and from Second Street to 10th Street — O’Connor said. In addition to the businesses and properties damaged in that area, the skate park on Prospect Avenue was also marked during that time.
The graffiti tag appears to say the word “junk” or “junky,” O’Connor said and is occasionally accompanied by profanity.
On Monday, Sept. 21, the CPD sent out a call for assistance to the public asking for assistance in making an arrest in the case.
What’s more, a local business is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for the damage. O'Connor declined to say which business is offering the reward.
O'Connor recently started with the CPD and was unsure how the number of incidents compared with past years, but he said the concentrated numbers in the small area is troubling.
“Everyone is pretty frustrated,” O’Connor said. “To have 13 incidents in such a short time is certainly a strain on businesses and property owners."
Anyone with information can call 218-879-1247 and anonymous tips can be sent to email@example.com or by direct messaging the CPD Facebook or Twitter pages. Tips may also be texted to 888777 with the message “TIP CLOQUETPD” and the information.
“We’ve got some ideas who it might be, but so far we don’t have anything we can fully work with,” O’Connor said. “So that’s why we’re asking people that live in the area to be on the lookout for anyone that looks like they’re damaging property.”