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Graffiti Issue, Ideas, help, suggestions!

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  • Graffiti Issue, Ideas, help, suggestions!

    Now, I am sure we all have graffiti issues, one way or another. It is a pain in the "you know what" to deal with. It sets a bad image for our areas of operations, and makes others feel we are not dealing with an issue, even though we know otherwise.

    Here is my problem, and this is tricky! Graffiti outside can easily be handled in detourance and apprehension.. My problem comes from inside my mall's public restroom facilities. How to catch a vandal who operates in a "private" area meant for otherwise business. I am tired of sending our janatorial staff in to clean it up, and doing all the reports on it. My superiors have stated that they want this individual(s) caught and punished severely. We believe it to be a single operating subject or duo, as it occurs in the afternoon time frame, in the males facility, and is "gang related" as it is the same gang tagging.

    I have already thought about "vasalining" the walls of the stalls, where this happens, to contradict the ink from working, but catching this subject(s) would be aces for everyone involved, as it is continous and annoying. We already conduct regular checks, so upgrading checks would leave an officer FT in the outhouse! LOL!

    Who has defeated this problem, or have ideas on how to?
    Deputy Sheriff

  • #2
    How do you know the graffiti is "gang related?" What exactly does the graffiti say?

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    • #3
      I wouldn't vasaline the stall walls. If I went into that head, and got lithium grease (always better than vasaline, btw) or vasaline on my sleeves, there would be hell to pay.

      You're probably going to have to put one or two people plainclothes around the restroom area to catch the little gangbanger.

      Also, have maintenance paint the stalls with vandal-proof paint. It will do them good in the long run. It makes it easy to clean.
      Some Kind of Commando Leader

      "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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      • #4
        Have you taken photos of the grafitti? How about running it through the local PD gang unit. They may able to give you the identity of persons known to use the tag (whether it's gang related, a tagger, or just a vandal).

        Other than that I agree with Nathan. You're going to have to run a plain clothes detail for a while. Of course they'll have to check the bathroom after each person exits to see if it's been tagged so that you can quickly cath up with the perp.

        To add to a plain clothes detail you could place a camera OUTSIDE the bathroom to be able to photo all who enter/exit. If you catch your tagger this would provide evidence of "means" to commit the vandalism. I would add that the camera needs to date/timestamp its recordings. Also the camera should not be able to view any area inside the bathroom that would be considered a privacy invasion.
        "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

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        • #5
          We know its gang related, as we are trained by the gang unit of our PD here, to help them with information on subjects that are gang related.

          We can easily tell it is gang, as the text of writing is old century script, wording "S.U.R. 13", meaning this is the standard tagging of this gang, the "Surenio's", also known as the "South Side" gang, originally derived from the eMe, or Old Mexican Cliche.

          We dont have a wide variety of gangs, but the ones we have are pretty real. Gangs in our area are the "Surenio's" (South Siders), "Nortenio's" (North Siders), E'ast Siders, San Juan's (derived off of Surenio's), and some ICP (Insane Clown Posse). These gangs of course tip to the left as common traits, and were identifiable military web belting an buckles, along with the color coordinations.
          Deputy Sheriff

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          • #6
            Gang leaders have their underlings add certain "new" elements to their artwork as they try to spread their influence or sent specific messags to potential rivals or other gangs.
            It is essential for both law enforcement and security agencies to catalogue these postings and with the help of reformed members, decipher these scrawlings and take action as necessary.
            Enjoy the day,
            Bill

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mall Director
              We can easily tell it is gang, as the text of writing is old century script, wording "S.U.R. 13", meaning this is the standard tagging of this gang, the "Surenio's", also known as the "South Side" gang, originally derived from the eMe, or Old Mexican Cliche.
              You are partially right. There is no one specific gang called the "Surenos" or "Sur 13." "Sur" is Spanish for "south" and the numeral "13" is used by Hispanic street gangs to identify their gang's origins in Southern California. It is actually a little more complicated than that, but this information is as far as I am willing to go on a public, non-law-enforcement forum.

              The Spanish word "Surenos" translates as "southerner" in English. So by writing "Sur 13" in your bathroom this "pendejo" (loser) is merely announcing his allegiance to Southern California, and is not trying to "claim" your mall as his gang's territory. In fact, I think the clown doing the graffiti is not a real gang banger at all; just a wanna-be copying things he has seen on TV or read about in low rider magazines, assuming he can read it at all and not just look at the pictures.

              If the graffiti starts to have a specific gang name such as "Tortilla Flats, Arizona Maravillas, CV-70, 18th Street" and so forth along with a moniker such as "Mr. Trigger, Oso, Payaso, Lil Sneaky" and the like then you have a real gang problem. "Sur 13" by itself, not accompanied by a gang name and moniker, means nothing.

              If you can catch the budding little tagger, by all means arrest him and turn him over to the police. The experience might just scare him away from joining a real gang.

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              • #8
                Graffiti

                Currently, we have an individual who is spraying graffiti on all the traffic signs in town. All efforts to apprehend this person(s) have been unsuccessful thus far. I have tried graffiti buster products on the signs, only to find out that it removes the red color on the stop signs, etc.

                Laminating the stalls with a plastic film can make clean up a breeze. If that isn't practical, it may become a test of wills. Paint it over as soon as it happens with a fast drying paint. At best, this will discourage the little "punks." At worst, it will give you more opportunities to catch them in the act.
                Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                • #9
                  You can put cameras in washrooms outside the stalls & not pointed at the urinals in Canada
                  I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                  Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mall Director
                    ......I am tired of sending our janatorial staff in to clean it up.........
                    One of the best ways of detering graffiti is to remove it immediately or ASAP, even if this means removing it on a daily basis.

                    My advice, continue to try and apprehend the offenders but keep on removing the graffiti.

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                    • #11
                      Ohh, Definately! I agree, removing it ASAP will detour the results of the matter..

                      I do however, think with the suggestion of the camera's, perhaps can place them in the hallway outside the restroom, in a descrete fashion, and just monitor who goes in and out, and timeline with subjects, perhaps can get a clue as to who, because I am very sure it is the same person.

                      For fun, I may have to bring some pics and post it for informational purposes, of the taggings.
                      Deputy Sheriff

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                      • #12
                        If the graffiti is spray paint, consider installing detectors that sound an alarm when solvent fumes saturate the small airspace in the restroom. Industrial supply catalogs might have such devices.
                        Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                        • #13
                          I wish it were spray, it would be easier to detect, but its our friend the "sharpie"!!! Arrr!
                          Deputy Sheriff

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mall Director
                            I wish it were spray, it would be easier to detect, but its our friend the "sharpie"!!! Arrr!
                            You can remove permanent marker easily with a little isopropyl alcohol. Most paints are not harmed w/ it.
                            Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, the hardest part, is the grout in between the tiles, as we have tiled walls.

                              I am just fed up with it though. We have gotten a reputation for explelling gangs, and our Surenio's are the biggest problem around my area. There are so many, and of such a variety. We have been trying to get the message out that they are not welcome here. It has worked for the most part, but this little reminder that pops up is even making my superiors mad! LOL!
                              Deputy Sheriff

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