‘Juvenile Wanna-Be’s’ Responsible for Gang Graffiti in Des Plaines, Police Say
At first, police suspected gang members were responsible for a number of graffiti reports in a Des Plaines neighborhood north of Algonquin Road, police stated. Now police believe juveniles were attempting to impress gang members with the vandalism.
A series of gang-related graffiti discovered in a Des Plaines neighborhood on Feb. 17 that, according to residents, had not previously seen that type of vandalism, was done by teens seeking to be accepted into a gang, according to police.
Deputy Chief Nicholas Treantafeles said, at the time, investigators suspected members of the Latin King gang were responsible for the approximately 17 reported incidents of gang graffiti north of Algonquin Road, something unexpected by police.
“In that area, that was a total surprise to me,” Treantafeles said.
It may be some relief to residents that live in that area, Treantafeles said, that the graffiti was not done by gang members residing in the neighborhood.
“We have since found out that that’s not the case,” Treantafeles said. “It was some juvenile wanna-be’s.”
Police discovered teens were responsible for the graffiti, Treantafeles said, from a local high school.
“It wasn’t the Latin Kings marking their turf, it was wanna-be’s trying to act cool, or look for acceptance,” Treantafeles said.
There are two gangs located on the south side of Des Plaines, Treantafeles said, the Latin Kings and the Imperial Gangsters. He said the vandalism was done for primarily two reasons: either gang members were marking their turf, or they were showing disrespect to another gang by leaving marks on their turf.
In a previous interview with Patch, Treantafeles said gang-related graffiti comes in waves.