CLERMONT – Police have arrested the suspected graffiti artist responsible for spray-painting the word "VIRUS" on buildings, fences and vehicles around the south Lake area.

In recent weeks, police began receiving reports that someone had vandalized – or tagged – a fence and a building at the National Training Center, a hotel under construction, an electrical box, several other businesses and a Sherwin Williams box truck. A second building, a billboard and an electrical box were all vandalized in the area of Highland Avenue and the service road.

Several other businesses and properties were vandalized, including delivery trucks at Clermont Furniture and Enterprise Rental, the Scates Realty sign and a wall at Hillside Villas.

Police caught a break on June 13 when they received a call about a suspicious abandoned vehicle on a public road. The responding officer noticed that the vehicle was parked near recent vandalism and had several spray paint cans in plain view in the back seat.

The officer waited for the owner to return to the car and conducted a traffic stop a short time later. The driver, who is the registered owner, consented to a search of the vehicle, which turned up evidence tying him to the vandalism.

Kobe Keene, 19, of Groveland, reportedly confessed to all the vandalism involving “VIRUS." He was charged with six counts of felony criminal mischief and one count of misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Detectives are working on additional criminal mischief charges against Keene.