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Graffiti Problem

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The estimated cost -- an unbelievable $12,000. The graffiti culprit is facing a felony charge for destruction of property.

The writings on the wall and people are not happy about it. Thousands of dollars in damage to the abandoned former Parkersburg Medical Associates building on Avery Street.

Police say they're cracking down on this colorful crime.

"So we did receive a ton of information by e-mail, through our tipline, through some phone calls and some other arrests that we were investigating at that time that led us not only to this individual but several others within his group,” says Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin.

Why do they do it?

"We look at it as a gang problem, not essentially what traditional gangs would be, but just the -- they're artists -- some of them are very talented," Martin says.

It's not a good look.

"I don't like graffiti, I think it defaces the beauty of our buildings and I think it makes our beautiful town look low class,” says Sunny Murray of Belleville. “It's a crime, people shouldn't be doing that to other people's property."

Some say it's art, others -- destruction of property, but most agree, they don't want to see it around town.

"When it's not their property, then it becomes a problem. “You know it's not pleasurable to look at, it degrades the esthetic parts of the city or neighborhoods and I would agree with that,” Martin says. “I wouldn't want it in my neighborhood."

Those I spoke to called graffiti problematic and disrespectful to others.

"That people will take and mark some other person's property that they didn't earn or work for, as 'look what I've done, this is mine,'” says Charles Evans of Fairmont. “I don't think anyone should deface anyone's property."

Cracking down on those who tag their mark.

"A lot of effort, investigative effort to tie them to a specific area or a tag or a location where they do spray-paint,” Martin says. “It is a difficult assignment but nonetheless so far it's been fruitful."

Riffle is out on a $5,000 bond.

Police say if you know anything about the graffiti in the area and who might be responsible for it -- call them at 304-424-8444.


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