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Halifax-area teens charged with hate crimes, vandalism

Vandalism and hate crime charges have been laid against three male teenagers in the spraying of racist and obscene graffiti in the Halifax area in August.

The RCMP said Tuesday that several homes in Eastern Passage were targeted with graffiti in August.

The teens are also accused of spray-painting the side of a house, vandalizing a post office box and defacing municipal signs.

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An elementary school and a ball field were also vandalized during the spree, most of which occurred on Aug. 2 and again on Aug. 15.

"Obviously it caused a lot of concern in the community," Cpl. Scott MacRae said Tuesday.

Police said two 17-year-old youths from Eastern Passage are due in youth court on Nov. 10 on charges of mischief and public incitement of hatred. The third accused, a 16-year-old boy from the Netherlands, will face the same charges on his return to Canada.

Cpl. MacRae couldn't say when the teen is expected to return.

He said charging teens with hate crimes doesn't happen often.

"Any form of graffiti is taken seriously, but when you start putting the racist component — whether you meant to or not — of course you have to answer to it," he said.

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