Vandals targeted at least five businesses in the eastern part of the county over the weekend, spray-painting the same two words on every building, deputies said.
Patrol officers discovered the words “Routine Cowboy” painted on buildings belonging to Midtown Sundries, ALDI Foods, Showmars Restaurant, Food Lion and Lowes, all located near the intersections of N.C. 16 and N.C. 73 in Lincoln Countyâ€™s eastern end, authorities said.
After extensive research, Sheriffâ€™s Lt. Tim Johnson, head of criminal investigations, said authorities remain uncertain as to what the words mean.
Deputies have already questioned three men in their early 20s about the case, according to a Sheriffâ€™s Office press release. However, no arrests have been made at this point.
The men who were questioned had been recorded buying nearly 20 cans of black and white spray paint around 2 a.m. Sunday at the Wal-Mart store in Denver, the release said.
An investigation is ongoing.