Howard Co. business owner makes teenager clean up graffiti


GREENTOWN — A business owner is taking a unique approach in how he is dealing with crime in his city.

James Chaplin owns Expert Appliance Repair in Kokomo.

“We do commercial and residential appliance repair; we repair every appliance,” Chaplin said. “We service here in Indiana, we service Marion County, north up to Howard County.”

Over the weekend Chaplin got wind that his new building in Greentown was vandalized – multiple times.

“So, we had some kids come through town and they sprayed painted several businesses and some cars and some landmark signs I suppose, and they got our building back here pretty good,” Chaplin said.

So, instead of pressing charges – Chaplin decided to take it into his own hands and used the power of social media.

So, I reached out to one of the kid’s dads and said hey listen, if we can just have them come over and I’ll even help and we can get this thing cleaned up, I think that would be punishment enough,” Chaplin said.

So, Lucas Garber, who is the suspected culprit and Chaplin met on Wednesday at Expert Appliance Repair’s new building and started to get to work

“There are two options here, they can just get put into a system and someone who has no responsibility for what happened can be cleaning it up or they can have a natural consequence,” Chaplin said.

All in all, it took the pair about 45 minutes to clean up all the graffiti and Lucas said he learned a valuable lesson.

“Just think before I do,” Garber said.

For Chaplin – he hopes others will follow his approach.

“Take some time to think about things from other people’s point of view and get outside of your own head for just a bit,” Chaplin said.

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