South Sound vandalism appears to be work of anarchists

by: Kevin McCarty Updated:

TACOMA, Wash. —

A vandalism spree in the South Sound targeting two Bank of America branches and a warehouse in Fife could be the work of anarchists, police said.

A downtown Tacoma branch was struck Monday night. Police found an ATM spray-painted with the words, "Bank of corruption." The screen was covered in spray paint and the card reader slot was glued shut.

Officers also found windows at the branch near South 9th and A streets painted with anarchist symbols.

An ATM at the Bank of America branch at 2nd and Meeker streets in downtown Puyallup suffered identical damage.

Customers who were showing up at the ATM around noon on Tuesday found it to still be out of commission.

"I don't like it," said customer Bill Chasteen. "I don't like them targeting anybody."

A customer who would only identify herself as Janet said with a laugh, "I'll go to another bank."

Police in Fife found similar graffiti along with tens of thousands of dollars in damage inside a warehouse under construction in the 4600 block of 70th Street.

That happened sometime late Sunday or early Monday. The vandals spray-painted slogans on windows and heavy equipment at the site as well as dumping large cans of paint and breaking equipment.

"We don't know the connection or why they picked that warehouse or the city of Fife," said Fife Police Lt. Tom Thompson, "but we're working on some leads."

Bank of America is expected to be targeted by demonstrations nationwide tomorrow to coincide with the company's annual shareholder meeting, which is scheduled to take place in Charlotte, N.C.

Several organizations, including those claiming ties to anarchist movements, are encouraging followers online to protest outside bank branches tomorrow afternoon. Those plans include a branch in Tacoma mentioned in at least one online post.

"Because of that, we'll take some precautions," said Officer Loretta Cool, a Tacoma police spokeswoman. "But at this point, we haven't had a directed threat against any in Tacoma."

Cool added that no group or individual had claimed responsibility for the vandalism.