Volunteers work to remove graffiti from the Vietnam POW/MIA mural Photo by Robert Johnson / Magnus Studio

Volunteers work to remove graffiti from the Vietnam POW/MIA mural
Photo by Robert Johnson / Magnus Studio

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigators believe a Bay Area tagging crew may have been responsible for the graffiti vandalism of Venice’s Vietnam POW/MIA mural just before Memorial Day weekend.

Investigators identified four handles spray-painted on the wall — NONER, PHEB, SNAKE and LITER — and traced their histories through online videos, according to a department bulletin.

No arrests have been made, and the case is being treated as felony vandalism.

The desecration of the memorial at Pacific Avenue and Sunset Court, painted 24 years ago by a homeless Vietnam veteran, provoked widespread community outrage. Community volunteers worked to clean the graffiti from the mural but may have also damaged original paint, complicating restoration efforts.

— Joe Piasecki

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