A man faces multiple charges, including defacing a war memorial, in connection with a series of graffiti incidents that have plagued Vancouver’s historic Chinatown.
Alleged serial vandal: Larry George Carlston, a 61-year-old resident of Vancouver, was brought before Vancouver Provincial Court on Tuesday to face eight counts of mischief linked to vandalism. Carlston’s case has been adjourned until Oct. 24.
Details about the charges: Vancouver police apprehended Carlston on Feb. 2 in connection with the incidents that occurred between Jan. 2 and Feb. 1 of this year. Among the charges, four pertain to graffiti found at various locations, three relate to graffiti on cultural property and one involves the defacement of a war memorial. A conviction for cultural property mischief can carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Carlston is accused of defacing a Chinatown Business Improvement Association bulletin board and graffitiing the doors of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on Jan. 4. He purportedly repeated this offense on Jan. 20 and Jan. 26, during which he is accused graffitiing the Chinatown Plaza war memorial.
Vandalism problem: Vancouver’s Chinatown has been consistently targeted in recent years. According to the BC Prosecution Service, there has been a staggering 455% surge in reported graffiti in the historic neighborhood since 2019.
Rejuvenating a historic site: Chinatown, recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada, has been the recipient of substantial funding to rejuvenate its streets, shops and infrastructure. In May, the neighborhood received $2.2 million in provincial funds and nearly $390,000 in municipal grants dedicated to graffiti removal and other initiatives. Ottawa also contributed $1.8 million in February for upgrading infrastructure, enhancing landmarks and promoting tourism.