Albany police see surge of graffiti

2014-01-07T16:24:00Z Albany police see surge of graffitiBy Kyle Odegard, Albany Democrat-Herald Albany Democrat Herald
January 07, 2014 4:24 pm  • 

Buildings, dumpsters, community mailboxes and bridge pillars were tagged with graffiti on Thursday night and Friday morning, according to Albany Police Department.

Police believe there was at least 12 separate instances of spray-paint vandalism, none of which was gang-related.

“There were three distinct monikers,” said Lt. Casey Dorland.

Pillars underneath the Pacific Boulevard overpass had just been cleaned of graffiti earlier in the week and were tagged again, added Sandy Roberts, Albany Police community education specialist.

Many of the taggings occurred in the downtown and Water Street area. 

Among the businesses impacted by the graffiti was Deluxe Brewing Co., on Water Street.

“It’s frustrating that our building keeps getting vandalized. We keep painting over it. ... We don’t want that to be seen by the public,” said Jamie Howard, co-founder and head marketer for Deluxe.

She added that the business had been tagged five to six times in the last two years or so.

“As a new business, it’s just another thing we have to be concerned about,” Howard said.

Sherri Skinner, Albany police community service officer, said that part of the pain of graffiti is simply the time residents or employees spend cleaning things up.

The police department has gray primer paint available for businesses that get hit by spray paint.

The officials said it’s important to cover up the vandalism quickly.

“Graffiti entices more graffiti,” Roberts said, similar to how an unkempt neighborhood creates an atmosphere that invites crime.

Dorland encouraged residents to report vandalism as soon as possible — even when it’s actually occurring.

He also asked people to call in tips to the police department.

“There are members of the public who see and know who’s responsible. ... Give us a chance to stop this,” he said. 

Applying graffiti is a Class A violation. Upon conviction however, a defendant can be sentenced to up to 100 hours of community service, which must include removing graffiti.

For unlawfully possessing a graffiti implement, a Class C violation, a defendant could be sentenced to 50 hours of community service, which also must include removing graffiti.

Multiple taggings or larger graffito, however, can rise to the level of criminal mischief misdemeanor charges.

Kyle Odegard covers public safety for the D-H. He can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or kyle.odegard@lee.net.

Copyright 2015 Albany Democrat Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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