Reward offered for graffiti vandals

Published 8:41 pm Friday, July 10, 2009

AHOSKIE – Graffiti artists appear to be back in Ahoskie, most notably at the old Belks building on Main Street.

The lone difference in their current round of unwelcome artwork and their previous artistic adventure is this time around there is a price on their heads.

Jernigan Oil Company of Ahoskie, who owns the old Belks property, has posted a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in this latest round of graffiti.

“We are willing to assist in any way in order to bring those involved in this to justice,” Jernigan Oil Supervisor Jimmy Barmer said.

In the meantime, Barmer said the company was in the process of installing security devices on the property in an effort to deter future acts of vandalism.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said his department welcomes involvement from business owners.

“The business owners in Ahoskie have made investments in their property and I admire them for making efforts to protect their investments,” Chief Fitzhugh said. “In this particular case, the building’s owner is taking a pro-active approach. Hopefully the reward money will lead us to the person or persons involved and from there we will move forward to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

Fitzhugh added that his department is investigating the vandalism of the Belks/Jernigan building. He also said an arrest was made in a previous incident involving graffiti painted on that property, but could not say if the same person was involved in the latest case.

Those with information are urged to contact the Ahoskie Police Department at 332-5011.