Suspect on graffiti spree arrested, painted 'Virus' throughout commuinty

Police in Clermont have arrested a suspect in the city’s on-going “Virus” graffiti spree.

On Thursday, the department announced 19 year-old Kobe Keene of Groveland had been arrested and charged with painting the word “Virus” on public and private property through-out the community.

"He confessed to all the vandalism cases,” said Police Sergeant Malcolm Draper.

At the beginning of June the Clermont Police began taking reports of the strange spray-paint vandalism showing up on the side of buildings, fences, and electrical boxes. As the month went on, the tag kept showing up more and more; police estimate at least 20 tags were discovered in town as of Thursday and even more were being discovered by city crews throughout the day.

On Wednesday police received a call for a suspicious, abandoned vehicle parked near the 12th Street Bridge; the bridge where the most recent tags were discovered this week. 

"The responding officer saw in plain view some items; some spray cans,” said Draper.

Draper said his officers would encounter the car in motion a short time later and pulled it over. The driver, Keene, consented to a search, they said, and officers found more evidence of spray-paint related items in the vehicle.

Police said Keene did confess in a post-Miranda interview. Right now Keene is facing 5 felony criminal mischief charges and 1 misdemeanor however they expect more charges to be filed as more of those graffiti tags continue to be discovered.