TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Several businesses and residences on the north side of Terre Haute were targeted with graffiti.
Derek Fell, Chief of Operations at the Vigo County Sheriff’s office said that investigators are canvassing the area and checking in with local business owners and residents to review any video footage captures. Officers are also looking into people who have committed this crime in the past.
Business owners and residents agree that this is something new to the area, that isn’t welcome. Lucas Thompson, a resident of the area, said over the last few days he has noticed several properties and signs defaced along Clinton Street.
“I haven’t seen anything like this here before, this is kind of new,” Thompson said. “I’m hoping this is just a little incident and just a bunch of kids hopefully,” he added.
The Pit Stop a locally owned gas station in the neighborhood was the recipient of several graffiti tags. Those tags were placed on all sides of the buildings, on signage, tanks, as well as gas pumps.
Owner, Beth West said, “It’s very upsetting to come to the place that you have dedicated a great portion of your life to making a positive place in the community, and to see it defiled like this is very upsetting.”
West said it has added stress as well as an extra expense and manpower to clean up.
“It takes a lot longer to take it off than it does to put on,” West said.
West tries not to take the graffiti personally.
“However, there is a personal note to this. My son used to do graffiti, and he chose to do it on this building once or twice, which I made him paint over after he apologized,” West said. “But he chose the wrong road. And unfortunately, that road led to drug abuse, and he died of fentanyl poisoning a year ago next month,” she added.
West said that not everyone who does graffiti will follow the same path as her son, but it does come down to decisions and choices.
“It’s (graffiti vandalism) a bad choice. And sometimes one bad choice leads to another,” West said. “I’m encouraging whoever is doing graffiti illegally on buildings to please stop. There might be other outlets for you,” she added.
West went on to encourage parents to keep a watch on their kids. She said if someone notices their child choosing the wrong path seek help. She said there are many organizations out there to help or she said to come to talk to her personally.
The Vigo County Sheriff’s Department said that they appreciate when these types of crimes are reported. By reporting graffiti vandalism, residents can help the department build its case, especially when it comes to repeat offenders.
The Vigo County Sheriff’s Department makes it easy to report a crime on its website.