Guntersville High maintenance technician used hunting camera to - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Guntersville High maintenance technician used hunting camera to catch Arab graffiti artists

A maintenance technician at Guntersville High School used a game camera to catch graffiti artists in Arab. (Source: WAFF) A maintenance technician at Guntersville High School used a game camera to catch graffiti artists in Arab. (Source: WAFF)
Joshua Hansen (Source: Arab Police Department) Joshua Hansen (Source: Arab Police Department)
ARAB, AL (WAFF) -

We're learning more about how authorities caught up with three Arab High School students accused of spraying obscene graffiti on more than 22 stops signs in Arab and at Guntersville High.

It wasn't a school surveillance camera that helped police catch them, but something you may have at your home.

"I come to school and I got a call that there was some vulgar writing on a building, so I had to come over here and try to clean it off," said Shannon Cahill, a maintenance technician at Guntersville High School.

Cahill says the calls continued for three weeks straight. Each time the graffiti artist targeted a building in front of the tennis courts. After the third call interrupted his wife's surprise birthday party, he'd had enough.

School surveillance cameras weren't able to catch the vandals, so he came up with his own plan.

"Well I was speaking to Mrs. Mabry, the school principal. And I just told her, 'What if I one of my game cameras?' And she said, 'Go for it. And if they steal it, we'll replace it,'" said Cahill.

Cahill, an avid hunter, went a little further to make sure the crooks wouldn't notice it. He camouflaged the camera with white tape and placed it near the top of the gutter.

"I checked it Saturday morning after I put up. Nothing happened Sunday morning. Nothing happened. And Monday morning, I pulled up and I saw it. And I called Quigley about 6:15 and said, 'I hope we got them. They struck again,'" added Cahill.

Scott Quigley, the student resource officer at Guntersville, heard about the same vandalism in Arab.

After a quick phone call to his counterpart at Arab High School, the car was identified and three students confessed to police.


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"We have a great relationship with each other. And the fact that we were able to knock out two cases at one time was pretty awesome, I thought," said Quigley.

"Yes, I'm tickled they're caught. I mean, it got to be right there. What have we got to cover up this Monday? What have they done, you know," added Cahill.

Monday morning, 18-year-old Joshua Hansen, a senior at Arab, turned himself in to Arab police on two counts of second-degree and third-degree criminal mischief. He pleaded guilty to both counts. The court will decide his punishment.

The other two students charged in this case are juveniles.

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