In December 2017, the Newark Police Department Special Operations Unit began an investigation into multiple acts of graffiti vandalism that occurred in and around the City of Newark and the University of Delaware campus. The suspect marked the same phrase in multiple locations around Newark and many of these acts of vandalism occurred when the suspect unlawfully entered upon the private property of residences. More than 25 different residences and businesses were victims of the graffiti.
Based on the steadfast work of the Special Operations Unit, a suspect in the crimes was identified. As part of the investigation, search warrants were executed on several residences and vehicles, which resulted in the gathering of evidence.
Kevin J O’Rourke was identified as a suspect in the commission of these crimes. A second, still unidentified, suspect conspired to commit the crimes with O’Rourke. During the execution of a search warrant at O’Rourke’s residence, a small amount of marijuana was located along with evidence of the graffiti. In addition, O’Rourke made statements to persons present in his residence at the time of the search warrant which may prevent their cooperation in this investigation. Those statements resulted in a charge of Act of Coercion.
O’Rourke was made aware of his warrant and turned himself in to the Newark Police Department on May 10, 2018. O’Rourke was charged with the below-listed offenses. O’Rourke was released from police custody on his own recognizance pending his future appearance in Newark Alderman’s Court.
O’Rourke’s identification has been shared with allied law enforcement agencies to assist with their investigations into other acts of graffiti vandalism.
Newark Police Chief Paul M. Tiernan offered the following comment:
“I commend the work of the investigators in the Special Operations Unit for their hard work during this nearly 6-month long investigation. In addition, members of our Patrol Division worked to document and gather evidence of these crimes. The cooperation among our divisions resulted in the arrest of this suspect for crimes which affect everyone who lives and works in Newark. The Newark Police Department is committed to investigating these quality-of-life crimes and will continue to keep Newark a clean and safe place to live and work.”
Charges (82 total):
Graffiti – 38 counts
Possession of Graffiti Implements – 37 counts
Criminal Trespass – 4 counts
Conspiracy – 1 count
Possession of Marijuana – 1 count
Acts of Coercion – 1 count
Defendant (photo attached):
Kevin J. O’Rourke
N. Chapel St.
WM 21 years-of-age
Anyone with additional information about these incidents may contact Master Corporal J. Conover at firstname.lastname@example.org or (302) 366-7100 x. 3443.
Anonymous text message tips can be submitted by texting 302NPD and a message to TIP411. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1‐800‐TIP‐3333 or via the internet at www.tipsubmit.com, where a reward may be available.
The Newark Police Department affirms that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.