Las Vegas Sun

October 20, 2017

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Police make arrest in Red Rock vandalism case


Courtesy Friends of Red Rock Canyon

Damage is shown after vandals used spray paint on historic rock art panels at Red Rock Canyon.

Click to enlarge photo

Damage is shown after vandals used spray paint on historic rock art panels at Red Rock Canyon.

Metro Police arrested a juvenile Wednesday in connection with graffiti recently found on ancient rock art panels at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Because the suspect is a juvenile, police were not releasing more details, Metro spokesman Bill Cassell said.

The crime carries a possible five-year jail sentence and a fine up to $100,000, authorities said.

Police previously said the graffiti was associated with a local gang sometimes referred to as the “Nasty Habits Crew.”

Police said the gang identifies itself by the letters “NHC,” which also has other meanings.

The vandals use the graffiti monikers of “RODO,” “64C” and “PWE,” which can be spelled “Pee Wee,” police said.

The Red Rock art panels — varying in size from 3-by-6 feet to 8-by-9 feet — were covered with maroon spray paint. The vandalism happened in the Willow Spring/Lost Creek area, officials said.

The panels included pictographs, paintings and drawings on rock, and petroglyphs, drawings scraped and ground onto the surface of the rock. All were severely damaged, officials said.

The drawings could date back to A.D. 1000 and were probably made by prehistoric archaeological cultures that lived in the area, such as the Virgin Anasazi or the Paiute.

The Bureau of Land Management estimated the restoration will cost about $10,000. The vandalism is the most severe case in Red Rock in the past several years.

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