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Tagger Monikers On Defaced Vietnam Veterans Memorial In Venice Identified

VENICE ( — Police say they have identified four of the monikers used by taggers who defaced the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Venice the weekend before Memorial Day.

A thick sheen of silver paint was painted over most of the 2,237 names of Vietnam veterans on the memorial, which is located on the side of a building at a Metro bus yard on Pacific Avenue near Sunset Court. The vandalism was discovered on May 27, but police believe the defacement actually happened on May 26.

memorial vandalism
(credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

Michael Thibodeaux, a Los Angeles Sheriff's Department detective and graffiti and tagging expert, identified four monikers used in the vandalism: "NONER," "PHEB," "SNAKE," and "LITER." The "NONER" moniker has been linked to a tagging group based in the Bay Area, and its believed that suspect might be a regular traveler between the Los Angeles and Bay areas.

wanted poster
(credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

The mural was painted in the early 1990s and bears the names of soldiers counted as prisoners of war or missing in action in Vietnam. City officials say restoring the memorial will be especially difficult because it is several decades old, has no protective anti-graffiti coating and the artist, Peter Stewart, has long since died.

A reward of up to $30,000 is being offered by city and county officials for information leading to the capture and conviction of the suspects behind the memorial vandalism.

Anyone with the information about the identity of "NONER" or any of the other monikers believed to be connected to this crime can call the LASD Transit Policing Division at (888) 950-SAFE (7233). Anonymous tips can be made by calling (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or texting "TIPLA" and the tip to CRIMES (274637).

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