Albany police arrested three suspects Monday in connection with felony-level graffiti crimes across the city.
Jacob Hall, 18; Derham Mohamed, 19; and a juvenile were arrested and charged with felony criminal mischief.
Detective Travis Giboney said he and fellow officers have for the past five months been chasing leads on more than 55 tagging cases, in which the suspects leave their graffiti signatures on public as well as private structures.
"We've been getting hit pretty hard since September," he said.
The breakthrough came in early January, when a security camera at the Cellar Cat downtown captured footage of one of the culprits tagging the restaurant's dumpster. Next, officers on Jan. 10 detained a juvenile suspect near a location known to be plagued with graffiti. Giboney said that suspect gave officers two names, one of which matched the suspect from the Cellar Cat footage.
Giboney said a single tagging charge would be a misdemeanor, but the volume of offenses has created such a monetary liability that the crimes add up to a Class C felony. He said the suspects have admitted to between 50 and 100 tagging incidents in Albany.
Giboney said more charges could be coming for the trio.