UPDATE: Details behind graffiti vandalization in Arab surface

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ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) — Arab Police say with the arrest of two men the details behind the graffiti tagging that targeted cars and a patrol car are piecing together.

Arab Police arrested two men Monday in connection to graffiti vandalism throughout the city, including one of its patrol cars.

Charles Austin Rye and Zachary Leewayne Wood were arrested Monday on charges of second and third degree criminal mischief. “We got a tip that somebody had overheard these guys talking and basically bragging about spray painting ‘NS’ on different things throughout town,” Assistant Chief Shane Washburn explains.

Washburn said the men admitted to the vandalism during questioning.

The letters ‘NS’ had been seen spray painted on cars and stop signs around Arab. An Arab Police Department patrol car had the letters spray painted on the door. Assistant Chief Washburn says the car was parked at an off-duty patrol officer’s home when it happened.

“At first a teenager was the victim and we thought it was a school prank or something like that. Later an adult female’s vehicle was targeted as well,” Assistant Chief Washburn says.

The tagging didn’t stop there. “We’ve had some instances around town on stop signs, where the initials have come up as well – ‘NS’,” Assistant Chief Washburn says.

 Courtesy: Donna Benefield Gober

Courtesy: Donna Benefield Gober

Arab Police say something like this instance is rare in the city. “Very seldom do we ever get something on a vehicle. Especially a patrol vehicle,” Washburn says.

Assistant Chief Washburn says why the two men decided to mark up Arab with the letters ‘NS’ isn’t clear. “They couldn’t give me a definite answer on what ‘NS’ stood for. We knew it stood for nation syndicate but we didn’t know why they choose nation syndicate to spray paint this,” Assistant Chief Washburn says, “They said it was just an idea that popped into their head and they were driving around that night and they were just blowing off some stress and steam.”

Assistant Chief Washburn says he believes this is isolated and not part of any kind of gang activity, which was initially a concern. “They plead guilty and went before a judge yesterday and were sentenced,” Washburn says.

Officers say they don’t believe anyone else was involved.