Las Vegas police want the public’s help in identifying the vandals who defaced ancient rock art panels with maroon spray paint near Lost Creek Trail in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
“The vandals being sought use the graffiti monikers of ‘PWE’ (also spelled ‘Pee Wee’), ‘RODO,’ and ’64C,’ ” according to a news release Wednesday from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Graffiti Investigations Detail.
The detail is coordinating with the Bureau of Land Management in investigating the crime, which is a violation of the federal Archaeological Resources Protection Act. The felony carries a penalty of up to $100,000 and five years in prison.
Investigators think the vandals are associated with a local gang known as “NHC,” which has several meanings, including “Nasty Habits Crew.”
Authorities have narrowed the window when the spray-painting spree occurred to between the last week of October and the first week of November.
The defaced rock art panels on Aztec sandstone slabs and walls contain pictographs, or painted symbols, that BLM archaeologist Mark Boatwright estimates are 1,000 years old.
One slab has a petroglyph, or stone etching, that appears to be older.
The Friends of Red Rock Canyon and the Conservation Lands Foundation are offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the conviction of the suspect or suspects.
BLM officials estimate the cost of restoring the site will be at least $10,000.
Information about making donations for a reward or for the restoration effort can be found at friendsofredrockcanyon.org.
Las Vegas police urge anyone with information that could help the investigation to call Crime Stoppers at 385-5555 or go to www.crimestoppersofnv.com.
Tips directly leading to an arrest or an indictment processed through Crime Stoppers also may result in a cash reward, according to the police department’s news release.
Contact reporter Keith Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0308.