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West Asheville Graffiti Complaints

Asheville Police took eight reports of vandalism in West Asheville Monday related to cases of graffiti spray painted on businesses walls and vehicles.

"They hit all up and down Haywood," said Eddy Webb as he painted over graffiti on a brown wood fence.

For many West Asheville business owners, the repainting nowadays is never ending.

"I think a lot of people on this block are angry," said Scott Woody, who owns Isis Restaurant and Music Hall with is son. He said the exterior of the building housing the hall has been repeatedly tagged with spray paint. 

Woody said he was told of a juvenile who was arrested for graffiti in West Asheville. But he said law enforcement would not tell him who the individual was, who his parents were, and what if any, restitution the juvenile had to pay for the graffiti crime. Woody said he would like to know if the individual had to face any penalty related to the alleged charge. Woody also feels the community in West Asheville may have to work together to find ways to reduce vandalism.

Other business owners say they are frustrated by what they perceive as a lack of serious interest by Asheville Police in investigating the graffiti crimes.

"I guess police will do all they can," said Mark Atkinson who's furniture store got tagged early Monday morning. His truck used to deliver furniture was also hit with spray painted graffiti. When asked if he's seen Asheville Police working to solve past cases, he replied, Not really. It seems like they could patrol a little heavier or something.

"I have put in police reports," said building owner Keith Wright who also had his building tagged over the weekend with graffiti. "I don't know, APD seems a little impotent to really do much about it, I think it would be a really hard thing to catch."

"It's a disappointment to West Asheville," said Wright referring to the increasing graffiti problems. "Because West Asheville is really experiencing a renaissance right now and I hate to see it get dragged down like this."

Dawa Hitch, spokeswoman for the City of Asheville says the city has plans to put up information on the Asheville Police Department's website in coming weeks with information for business owners how best to reduce and prevent graffiti. One step Hitch said is for business owners to paint over or get rid of the graffiti tagging as soon as possible. There's an ongoing debate whether city funds should be allocated towards remediating graffiti painted on private business property. Hitch said the city also has a new app smartphone users will be able download to their phone. Anyone who sees graffiti can take a picture and immediately report it to the city using the app. Hitch said more details will be released in weeks to come on the city's plan to fight the graffiti problem in all parts of the Asheville.

By Kimberly King
Follow Kim on Twitter @KimKingReports


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