Cops: ‘Serial Tagger’ Collared

November 8, 2018

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TEWKSBURY -- For months, graffiti has been popping up in Tewksbury. Local businesses and other town property were vandalized. Even the town’s 9/11 Memorial was spray-painted twice, the first time on Sept. 11.

Tewksbury police called Joshua Chisholm, 29, a “serial tagger.”

The Lowell man was released on personal recognizance after his arraignment in Lowell District Court on Wednesday.

The conditions of his release were to stay away from the properties he is accused of vandalizing over the past several months, to not vandalize any other property and to continue to reside at Zack’s House, a sober home for men in Lowell.

The Tewksbury Police Department had been following reports of “tagging” around town since May, when the Open Space and Recreation Committee reported that one of the newly installed benches along the town’s hiking trails at Strong Water Brook was vandalized.

Chisholm is alleged to have tagged signs from local businesses, the Creative Learning Academy sign, a lamp post at the Balsam Place Apartments, the Tewksbury Public Library sign, as well as the interior and exterior of some buildings and more.

According to the police report, incidents of vandalism to the 9/11 Memorial were taken on Sept. 11 and Oct. 23. On Oct. 23, “WE MUST NEVER LOSE INFINITE HOPE” and “CRE8″ were written on the memorial in red ink. The tag “CRE8” was reported at many other sites in town.

On Nov. 1, Tewksbury police Sgt. Alysia Columbus conducted a follow-up in the investigation at the Petroil/Dunkin Donuts at 1220 Main St., where she showed employees there a surveillance photo of Chisholm from another tagging incident in July. A Dunkin’ Donuts employee told Columbus the suspect’s name was Joshua.

In addition to the many properties vandalized in Tewksbury, there were incidents in Lowell, Pepperell and Boston. He was previously arraigned in Boston District Court in February for allegedly tagging property.

According to Columbus’ narrative in the police report, she also contacted police in Pepperell, where Chisholm appears to be from. While they stated they were familiar with Chisholm for domestic and drug-related issues, they did not know anything about his relation to alleged tagging. However, they reported tagging incidents in Pepperell that also read “CRE8,” which, prior to this, police did not know who might be responsible.

After further investigation, police discovered Chisholm was employed as a receptionist at Elements Massage in Tewksbury. Chisholm was arrested there by Tewksbury police Tuesday.

He was charged with 20 counts of vandalizing property and two counts of vandalizing a memorial.

Prior to living at Zack’s House, Chisholm lived at Lowell House on the Tewksbury State Hospital campus.

On Wednesday, he was also sent to Fitchburg District Court for a probation violation. He is on probation out of Lowell District Court through Nov. 23, according to the police report.

Chisholm is due back in Lowell District Court on Monday, Dec. 17 for a pre-trial hearing.

Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.

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