Police say a detective combed through hundreds of gun permit applications in Concord, N.H., to find one with a distinctive lowercase "b'' that led to an arrest in a 2-year-old racist graffiti case.

Police on Tuesday arrested 42-year-old Raymond Stevens, of Pembroke, on a warrant charging him with criminal mischief.

The graffiti was scrawled in black permanent marker on the homes of several African refugee families in 2011 and 2012. The messages on the houses called the occupants "subhumans" and told them they are "not welcome."

Stevens was being arraigned Tuesday. It wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

A police affidavit said Detective Wade Brown went through about 1,500 handwritten gun permit applications as part of the investigation.