COLUMBIA — Six houses and three cars were spray-painted with gang symbols sometime after 10 p.m. Friday in the Clearview subdivision north of Columbia, according to the Boone County Sheriff's Department.
The gang symbols were associated with the L.A.-based "Bloods" and "Crips" gangs, Sgt. Micheal Perkins said. Several homes and cars were tagged with a "B↑C↓" symbol, meaning "Bloods up Crips down," Perkins said. One house was tagged "B4C," a symbol expressing support for the Bloods.
Spray paint was used on the garage doors of four homes, the siding of one home and the entrance door to the garage on one home, Perkins said. Estimated damage to the homes and cars totals between $4,000 and $5,000, according to a news release from the sheriff's department.
Perkins said gang-related activity is not common in the area, but the department has responded to some incidents in the past.
"Over the years we've had problems here or there but nothing like this," Perkins said.
Perkins acknowledged the possibility that this might have been an incident in which a group of young people was simply trying to act tough.
He added that "when kids start claiming some gang affiliation, you've got to take them seriously."
The sheriff's department has not identified any suspects and is investigating the incident.
Anyone with information helpful to the case is asked to contact the sheriff's department at 573-442-6131 or Crime Stoppers at 875-TIPS.