Yakima police arrest band of taggers suspected of 57 graffiti incidents

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YAKIMA — Seen a tag lately that looks something like FSK? Yakima police would like to hear from you.

FSK stands for Fourth Street Kings, a teenage tagging crew that police say was captured red-handed last week while marking up signs and light poles near North Fifth Avenue.

Altogether, officers counted 57 tags they believe the five scrawled Friday evening before they were spotted and turned in.

"There could be more," Capt. Rod Light, spokesman for the Yakima Police Department, said Tuesday. He described the bust as "a good arrest for our officers."

According to arrest affidavits, the bust went down when a witness saw someone tagging a window at Tamales Express at 315 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Officers stopped four teenage boys and a teen girl on nearby Fourth Avenue. All five were arrested after police said the youngest member of the group, a 13-year-old boy, incriminated himself and his friends.

According to the arrest affidavits, the boy told officers his tagging crew had been writing their crew name, FSK, on a meandering route along Walnut Street, North Second Avenue and MLK.

That boy and a 15-year-old were taken to the Yakima Juvenile Justice Center, but have since been released to their parents.

A 17-year-old boy was booked into the facility and remains there on $2,500 bail. Prosecutors have since charged him with 57 counts of third-degree malicious mischief, a gross misdemeanor.

Another 17-year-old boy, described by police as a documented La Raza Norteño and the apparent leader of the pack, also was booked into the center. However, he turned 18 on Monday, and his case appears to be in limbo.

The only female in the group, who also happened to be the oldest at 18, was booked into the Yakima County jail. She has has not yet been charged and has since been released on her own recognizance. The Yakima Herald-Republic does not typically name juveniles or suspects who have not yet been charged.

Light, the YPD spokesman, cited the case as an example of what the police department can do when the public acts as its eyes and ears.

"It takes an engaged citizenry," he said. "Turning a blind eye for fear of retaliation doesn't make sense when you're already under attack."