Graffiti vandal turns herself in to Medford police

Graffiti vandal turns herself in to Medford police

Medford police Tuesday arrested a 27-year-old woman on charges linked to extensive graffiti that was discovered barely a block from her north Medford home.

Lt. Tim Doney said Mary Catherine Della-Paolera turned herself in after she learned that police had received a tip about her identity. Doney said police received the information Monday.

Police said Della-Paolera lives with her boyfriend in the 400 block of Hayes Avenue, within a block of the area that was vandalized. Officers said they don't know why the properties were chosen, and the incident appears to be random.

"We are not ruling out that there may be other suspects," said Doney.

Residents of the secluded north Medford neighborhood awoke May 11 to see graffiti spray painted on a residence, cedar fences, a utility box, a light pole, pavement and sidewalk. Profanity, names, numbers and pictures had been made with black, blue, yellow, pink and purple paint.

Among the hardest hit was a house owned by Jodi and Jim Salyer, where Jodi Salyer's mother lived until her death a year ago.

Jodi Salyer said she was surprised to learn the apparent perpetrator was a 27-year-old woman, because police had told her the behavior was more typical of teenagers. She said she has not lived in the house and was not acquainted with neighbors.

Jodi Salyer said she had invested $30,000 to fix up the vacant house and has been trying to sell it.

Salyer said she's hired a contractor to completely repaint the house, even though her homeowners insurance will reimburse her only for the parts that were covered with graffiti. She said painters have already primed the house.

A city ordinance requires property owners to remove graffiti at their own expense within 10 days, and most of the graffiti in the neighborhood has been removed.

Doney said Della-Paolera was lodged in Jackson County Jail on two counts of first-degree criminal mischief.

"We don't often arrest 27-year-old females that are connected to tagging and graffiti," he said.

Bail was set at $5,000 for each charge. By late Tuesday afternoon Della-Paolera had posted bail and was released.

Police investigators said local media coverage of the incident was a factor in Della-Paolera's decision to turn herself in.

Reach reporter Meg Landers at 776-4481 or e-mail

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