DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It ruins walls, looks terrible and is popping up all over one of the most popular entertainment districts in Dallas.
Residents and property owners feel they are seeing more and more graffiti tags throughout their community.
“It’s literally every day we have a new one,” said Jeff Payne, a local Deep Ellum artist and resident.
Payne said he is seeing it on walls, on meters, across signs, stretched along windows and even painted on sidewalks by corporate companies like Lyft for advertisements.
Most recently, the erratic graffiti tags have hit outside Payne’s home.
“You feel violated,” said Payne. “Like if somebody broke into my house.”
Property owner Joe Payton said it costs him at least $500 every time one of his buildings is hit by vandals.
“Someone comes along and tags it, it’s the same as someone walking up to you and making a mark on your jacket,” said Payton.
When he pressure washes the tags, it ruins his historic brick by discoloring it and taking chips out of the wall. But if he lets the city take care of it, it only creates a target.
“A tagger now has a new blank slate,” said Payton. “Here’s a new spot to paint over.”
Payton and other like Payne want stricter enforcement, arrests and their damages paid for by those responsible.
“If they want to come down here and do this, we’re just going to make it our own,” said Payne. “We’re not scared of anybody coming down here.”
The Dallas Police Department said it is now looking into the issue and urges residents to report the crimes to give officers a better idea of the problem.