Campbell River Mirror

The vandal taggers have been TAAGed

The Timberline “TAAG” team erases a mess. From the left: Moritz Steiner, 16, in Grade 11, Anna Blixhaun, 14, in Grade 9 and Hunter McKay, 17, in Grade 12. - Brian Kieran/The Mirror
The Timberline “TAAG” team erases a mess. From the left: Moritz Steiner, 16, in Grade 11, Anna Blixhaun, 14, in Grade 9 and Hunter McKay, 17, in Grade 12.
— image credit: Brian Kieran/The Mirror

Community spirited Timberline Secondary students flying under the banner “Take Action Against Graffiti” (TAAG) have come to the rescue of a Willow Point businessman who has been repeatedly victimized by a spray painting vandal who may be a troubled Timberline student.

The paint party of Timberline students also included Timberline Principal Kevin Harrison and School District #72 lead hand painter Rick Robertson. The work party arrived at the Sunshine Square office complex Friday at lunch hour and returned in the late afternoon to reclaim more than 30 metres of exterior walls and doors that were defaced in November.

The building is owned by Orla Jensen. His property was targeted by taggers five times in two weeks and the latest graffiti included an ominous message: “I want to kill you.”

Grade 12 student Hunter McKay, 17, said it was the right thing to do. “It’s Christmas time. We might as well do something nice. One of the kids who did this has had a particularly rough life so I can’t get too upset with him. But, he did what he did.”

Harrison says the painters are from a group of Timberline student advocates and “this is their way of showing the community teenagers care as well.”

“These are kids who have been chosen by teachers and their friends because they are willing to stand up for others,” Harrison says. “Now I have a group of students I can approach for just about anything. This month their mandate is – ‘it’s cool to be kind.’ When I saw the article about this vandalism in the Mirror I phoned Orla and said I have a group of students who want to help out.”

Jensen was beaming.

“These aren’t kids these are young adults,” Jensen says. “The kids who did this in the first place are still kids. These students here today are on the ball. They are our future leaders. For them to take on this project is fantastic.”

Jensen also thanked Cloverdale Paint for donating the paint and roller sleeves.

RCMP Staff Sergeant Troy Beauregard says the police are still following leads in the case. They believe one person is involved in the graffiti incident and Beauregard warns that the offender could be subject to multiple charges when caught because the police are keeping track of all similar events.

A few years ago the Willow Point Business Improvement Association posted a reward, but the vandalism stopped and no one was caught. Police have promised anonymity if people with information about the graffiti come forward.

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