By Jon Schroeder

Killeen Daily Herald

Between Monday and Wednesday, Mae Stevens Elementary School and Hollie Parsons Elementary School were vandalized with graffiti, according to a press release from the Copperas Cove Police Department.

In both cases, the graffiti was written in blue spray paint, and both instances of vandalism included the number 107.

According to the release, "Graffiti at Mae Stevens Elementary School referenced '107 CREW MOBSTA.' Graffiti at Hollie Parsons Elementary School referenced '107 HOOVER CRIP.' A six-point star was common in both offenses."

Police ask that anyone with information about these offenses call Copperas Cove Crime Stoppers at (254) 547-1111 or submit a tip online at Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous information and pays up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and prosecution.

Copperas Cove Police Department spokesman Lt. Daniel Austin said Copperas Cove has been hit with a smattering of graffiti, but it isn't a new phenomenon.

Although one of the pieces of graffiti refers to the Crips, a gang started in Los Angeles with blue and black colors, Austin said he's not aware of gang activity in Copperas Cove.

"It's hard to say either way right now until we identify the suspect," he said. "I don't have anything to support either way at this point in time."

The paint was not visible on the exteriors of the schools on Thursday.

"The longer you leave (graffiti) there, the more of a chance that somebody comes along and says, 'I might like to do that,'" Austin said, adding that generally either the owner of the tagged property or the Copperas Cove Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association cleans up graffiti. While the legal penalties associated with graffiti vary depending on the amount of damage and the category of property vandalized, Austin said either crime would likely be considered a state jail felony because the building involved was a school. That carries a 180-day to two-year sentence with a fine of up to $10,000.

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