Art may be in the eye of the beholder, but when the beholder is a police officer, it also depends on what you choose as your canvas.
At 4:40 a.m. Wednesday, a 20-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for graffiti vandalism and obstructing an officer after a caller reported suspicious activity in the 10900 block of West Potter Road. The caller had seen a car pull over and said three people got out and entered a private property.
Police initially found no one in the area, but one officer waited and 20 minutes later spotted a man walking toward the car. He told the officer he was just walking from a bus and knew nothing about the car.
But he was covered in several colors of fresh paint and was soon found to have the keys to the car in his pocket.
Another officer called in to report he has just found fresh graffiti on a nearby business building – the word “Uptown” painted 10 feet long and 5 feet high, and another word the officer could not make out, 6 feet by 4 feet in extent.
The suspect insisted he'd had nothing to do with it, but he acknowledged that he had recently been commissioned to paint a mural at a Milwaukee tavern. He told officers he is “a skilled artist.”
A search of the car turned up a trunk full of spray paint cans matching the colors found on the suspect's clothing and on the freshly tagged wall. The man's two passengers could not be located.
In other recent incidents:
A resident of the 11700 block of West Hadley Street reported that between 9 and 10 a.m. Monday someone stole his snow blower out of his open garage.
A resident of the 4700 block of North Parkside Drive reported that overnight someone vandalized three vehicles in her driveway by writing obscene racial slurs on them with a blue paint stick.
At 5:40 p.m., a 27-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for theft from Macy’s at Mayfair Mall after he tried to walk out with nearly $350 worth of clothing and accessories, which he said he intended to sell because he was “short on rent.”
At 5:15 p.m., three Milwaukee girls, two of them 15 and one 17, were arrested for theft from Kmart, 3201 N. Mayfair Rd., after they were seen taking two prepaid cell phones worth about $200 together. A police officer spotted them in the 10600 block of West Burleigh Street and saw them throw the phones over a fence into the grounds of Blue Mound Country Club. The girls were all recognized as frequent retail theft suspects with a number of previous arrests. The phones were recovered.
At 4:16 p.m., a 19-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl, both of Milwaukee, were arrested for defrauding an innkeeper after they and several other young women or girls ate at Applebee’s at Mayfair Mall and then left without paying a $75 food bill.
At 1:26 p.m., two Milwaukee men, one 18 and one 19, were arrested for theft from Macy’s after they were seen hiding and trying to leave with two Coach wristlet purses worth $38 each.
A West Allis woman reported that her purse was stolen from her car Monday evening, which she said she left unlocked for an hour in the parking lot at Kmart. The only thing of any value in the missing purse, she said, was her prescription bottle containing 15 Suboxone tablets, worth about $10 apiece. She told police that she was filing a report so that she could document the theft and refill her prescription. Right….
A Milwaukee woman reported that between 8:20 p.m. Monday and 1 a.m. Tuesday while she was at the Starbuck’s at 151 N. Mayfair Rd. someone smashed a window in her car and stole a bag containing six pairs of shoes.