Summertime Means Increased Teen Vandalism

Police say now that school's out for summer, we can expect a spike in the crime rate due to teenagers tagging and vandalizing buildings around town. KLBK's Alison Morris reports. <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->

Sergeant Jason Lewis with the Lubbock Police Department sees a lot of kids this time of year charged with property damage crime, usually in the misdemeanor range.

"We definitely see a spike in mostly vandalism type crimes and lots of criminal mischief," Lewis said. "We definitely see a tremendous spike."

Stuart Walker, Manager of Code Administration, makes sure the damage gets cleaned up.

"We generally run 75 to 100 cases a month," Walker said. "And generally right now our spike may be 20 to 50 more cases a month."

Walker says most of the graffiti is not gang related.

"The graffiti that we usually see is associated with taggers or 'wanna-be' street artists," Walker said.

In many of these vandalism cases, the perpetrator is not caught and Walker says that costs the city lot of money.  

"On a yearly budget we usually spend between 75 and 80 thousand dollars a year," Walker said.

Walker said that maybe these vandal's efforts could be put to better use.

"We've got people in town who wanna take these individuals and redirect their efforts into a more productive kind of thing and paint like street murals and stuff like that," Walker said.

If you find yourself a victim of vandalism, you can call the graffiti hotline at 789-48-66.

The Code Administration team will come clean up the mess for free.

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