AUGUSTA — An Augusta woman has been charged with 16 counts of criminal mischief after having spray painted graffiti on 20 locations around the city, police said.

Darbe Anagnost, 35, was issued a summons at 2:44 p.m. Wednesday after what Deputy Chief Kevin Lully said was an investigation of “a series of spray painting cases that were investigated over the course of a couple of weeks.” Lully said each charge indicates a separate victim of the graffiti.

Officer Anthony Drouin, who investigated the case, said police executed a search warrant at Anagnost’s residence and conducted an interview leading to “sufficient evidence for the charges.” Drouin also said a business owner at one of the locations recognized Anagnost after she entered a business that she had tagged with graffiti.

Many of the paintings depicted a broken heart, while others read “I LOVE U” or “WHY THE PAIN.”

When asked about a motive, Drouin said Anagnost was “exceptionally artistic” and “this intense desire to paint and be artistic is believed to be the motivation.”

Drouin said the tagged locations were:

• the former Dunkin’ Donuts building at 67 Sewall St.

• Dunkin’ Donuts at 22 Western Ave.

• the Colonial Theater at 139 Water St.

• Kmart at 58 Western Ave.

• A and E Pawn at 177 Water St.

• the former Copy Center building at 179 State St.

• Northern Mattress at 16 Western Ave.

• Augusta Kwik Mart at 25 Western Ave.

• the former Hannaford supermarket building at 7 Willow St.

• Cushnoc Brewing Co. at 243 Water St.

• a hydraulic lift on Water Street

• Hartford Fire Station

• a retaining wall under Water Street

• the Retail Association of Maine at 5 Wade St.

• Aveda Institute at 43 Bridge St.

• 1 Eastern Ave.

• 211 Water St.

• 98 Water St.

• 59 Cony St.

• 217 Water St.

Representatives from some of the locations did not wish to press charges against Anagnost, according to Drouin.

Cushnoc Brewing Co. co-owner Tobias Parkhurst said he spoke with Anagnost in April after writing a Facebook post about graffiti done to a picnic table at Cushnoc’s tasting room on Front Street. He said he asked her to remove the tag, recommended she stop tagging local businesses and offered her the opportunity to work with the brewery in the future.

Parkhurst said he did not hear back from her.

“I’d love to provide a productive outlet,” he said. “I feel bad that someone who needs to express themselves and has a certain level of talent can only find that way of doing it.”

Graffiti is culturally important, Parkhurst said, but he added that tagging operational businesses and machinery crossed a line.

“Street art and graffiti art has been very important in our popular culture and it is important. That doesn’t mean that you go around and write on any wall you see; there are levels to it,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be a negative thing. It just has to be done properly.”

Anagnost also was arrested on outstanding warrants on Oct. 19, 2018, and Jan. 13.

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