May 22, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Suspected gang members sprayed up the Augusta Municipal Building and a nearby monument honoring some fathers of our country.
It happened last night around 11:40 p.m. Deputies say vandals painted graffiti on the Municipal Building and the Signers Monument across the street.
Investigators believe it is the work of the Thugg Mafia, a sect of the Folk Nation.
Deputies say this group has only been in the Augusta area for about one year. They’ve been striking homes, trying to get their name known and now they’ve hit what investigators believe is their first government building and monument.
"Such disrespect." says Carrie Childs, who was downtown for a murder trial today.
Disrespect for two signers of the Declaration of Independence, both George Walton and Lyman Hall are buried below the Signer's Monument, which the vandals covered with the gang's name, Thugg Mafia. They tagged the municipal building too.
Richmond County's gang task force says as far as they know, this is the first time gang related graffiti has ever been painted on the municipal building and it's a crime they are taking very seriously.
"It's showing they're marking their territory," gang task force investigator Blaise Dresser identifies this as the work of Thugg Mafia, a smaller sect of the Folk Nation. The vandals painted its six point star, its name, its initials and numeric markings as well.
Also painted was the word blood upside down and backwards, a sign of disrespect to the Bloods gang.
"The Thugg Mafia from what we've seen, is fairly new, within the last year it cropped up," says Investigator Dresser. So far, he says, this is their worst offense. "I would always be concerned when new gang graffiti starts popping up that something else may happen."
As for Carrie Childs, who saw the damage first hand, she hopes the group gets more than it bargained for "They're really trying to get rid of all the gangs in the area and they're just going to be the next gang to go -so, watch out."
Thugg Mafia is now officially on the radar of the gang task force. So if their goal was to get noticed, mission accomplished.
Dresser says security officers were in the building at the time the vandals struck around 11:40 last night, but they did not catch the criminals in action. A surveillance camera did though, it shows two men, and the sheriff's office hopes to identify them and charge them soon.