‘Green Bandit’ nabbed in DC, evidently green-handed, for defacing landmarks

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The short national nightmare of vandalism that marred several Washington, D.C. memorials and landmarks has likely come to an end. In a strangely comforting outcome, the culprit appears to be a fairly garden-variety crazy homeless woman with no extremist manifesto or major geopolitical ambitions.

The suspected Green Bandit, Jiamei Tian, was arrested and charged with a single count of defacing property after she allegedly sloshed green paint around the National Cathedral, reports ABC News. She may also face an additional charge involving destroying public property.

Various investigators are now trying to determine if Tian, 58, is also responsible for damaging the Lincoln Memorial, a statue near the Smithsonian Castle and a statue of Martin Luther with green paint in remarkably similar fashion.

All the acts of vandalism occurred over the course of the last four days.

Tian told police she had no permanent address, notes ABC.

Police had not officially established that all four incidents were related. Paint sample testing is in the works.

Perhaps just as importantly, The Washington Post reports, the Park Police investigating the Lincoln Memorial vandalism were looking for woman described as Asian and potentially homeless.

The green paint at the National Cathedral was splattered – still wet – on an organ, on the walls and on a mural.

A frenzied search ensued throughout the complex layout of the cathedral. Security personnel hit pay dirt when they found Tian in the Children’s Chapel, which is a prayer space built to the scale of a young child.

Sightseers weren’t pleased.

“It’s just disappointing,” said unlucky tourist Nick Schwei, according to the Post.

Police were keeping him and other tourists out of the cathedral.

“First the Lincoln Memorial, now this,” the Milwaukee resident said. “It’s just very sad.”

The vandalism of the Lincoln Memorial featured big paint splashes. The edifice containing a gargantuan, 91-ton statue of Abraham Lincoln re-opened quickly, despite some scaffolding.

The damage to the memorial was first discovered at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Friday by unidentified passersby. One told the Post she found a couple of 20-ounce Mountain Dew bottles brimming with green and white paint at the scene. There were also white footprints.

The damage to a bronze statue of the Smithsonian’s first secretary at the Smithsonian Castle and of a statue of Martin Luther featured themes similar to the vandalism at the National Cathedral and the Lincoln Memorial. The Smithsonian vandalism included unique, baffling markings.

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Eric Owens