Mini crime wave hits High PoInt Road businesses

by Jordan Green

Graffiti artists or criminal cryptographers ‘— take your pick, depending on your cultural orientation ‘— struck a string of businesses on High Point Road just outside the Greensboro city limits early in the morning of Dec. 28.

In prominent bold letters on the sidewall of the Seafood Shoppe at 4801 High Point Road, they inscribed ‘“Street Terrorists’” next to renderings of a triangle with circles on each tip and what might be either a Dr. Seuss-style hat or a mushroom.

At least two other nearby businesses also suffered damage. A skull-like face adorned with a spike was drawn on the sidewall of Eagle’s Nest Furniture. And Mike Stutts, manager of Branson Tractor South, said the word ‘“penis’” was written on his Chevrolet Suburban. A wheelchair-accessible van parked nearby was defaced with the term ‘“vagina mouth.’”

Stutts said a security camera installed at his store picked up the sounds of loud voices at about 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 28, but did not capture any images of the perpetrators. The graffiti was discovered the next day.

The store manager said he plans to produce a flier offering a $200 award to anyone who can provide useful information about the culprits of the graffiti spree.

Branson Tractor South has also been the target of repeated ‘“smash and grab’” incidents.

Det. David Prince of the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department said three such incidents were reported over the course of the past year.

‘“They broke through the window,’” he said. ‘“They didn’t gain entry; they just reached in and took what they could.’”

Stutts said he suspects the graffiti and theft incidents were carried out by juveniles who live in the area, but Prince said police have not established a criminal profile for the perpetrators. No arrests had been made as of Dec. 30.

Prince said no reports had been filed on the graffiti incidents, but they would likely be referred to lead gang investigator of the sheriff’s department. If the graffiti doesn’t appear to be gang-related a juvenile detective might take up the case.

– Jordan Green