JeffCo parks tagged with graffiti, sheriff’s office investigating

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is turning to the public for help after similar graffiti has popped up in at least two parks in the county.

Most recently, the graffiti was spotted in Powderhorn Park and The Ridge at West Meadows Park.

“I love the park,” said Heather Dodd, while playing with her daughter at The Ridge at West Meadows Park. “I think it’s a huge reason why we decided to move into this neighborhood."

That’s how neighbors described the park on Friday afternoon as they passed through it.

“[It’s] very family oriented — lots of people around here, especially when the weather’s nice,” said Kendyl Healy, who walks her dog in the park every week.

On Friday, just 50 feet or so from where a couple of kids were swinging, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was responding to some illegal activity.

Most of the graffiti is buried in snow, but it could be spotted on one of the rocks at the edge of the playground.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says this specific graffiti is becoming a trend.

“It would seem like they’re somewhat connected together,” said Mike Taplin with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, adding, “I don’t know if it’s a group of people or one person. That’s what we’re looking on information on."

After researching one of the graffiti words — "ZOGS" — FOX31 discovered it could be an abbreviation for an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

We asked the sheriff's office about whether they believed the graffiti was racist or centered on white nationalism.

“I have not heard about that before,” said Taplin. “It’s possible it may be connected. We don’t know.”  

“I’m from a big city where graffiti is definitely a sign of gang violence,” said Dodd. “So it did make me wonder about that, or if it’s just some kids — or adults — misbehaving.”

Once the snow melts, clean-up won’t be cheap.

“Unfortunately, the one that happened at The Ridge at West Meadows Park, it’s estimated that it’s going to take about $1,000 of time and effort and money to clean that up,” said Taplin.

The sheriff’s office is now asking for any tips to help them put a stop to the graffiti before it gets out of hand.

If you have any information about who is responsible for this graffiti, you are encouraged to contact the sheriff's office at: 303-271-0211 or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at: 720-913-7867.

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