Pleasanton Weekly

Community Pulse - June 11, 2010

Police Bulletin: Graffiti 'artists' becoming more visible

Despite recent complaints about graffiti, Pleasanton police say there's not more -- it's just more visible. However, a recent arrest has put the tagger known as "REZIST" out of business.

"This particular individual is responsible for doing at least eight tags that we know of that have been in very prominent locations in town," said Lt. Craig Eicher, explaining that the retaining wall at the Foothill Adobe was among the spots the graffitist hit.

Pleasanton has had 90 reports of graffiti since the beginning of the year, with 55 reports from Jan. 1 to March 31; and 35 between April 1 and June 7. Eicher said it's more about what's seen than the actual numbers.

"I think the folks that are doing it are putting it in more conspicuous places," he said. "I think people are noticing it more."

Another location that's received recent attention is along Vineyard Avenue. Eicher said that's another example of visibility rather than volume.

Shannon Revel-Whitaker, a community service officer in crime prevention, said anyone spotting graffiti should call police. There's a hotline for graffiti that people can call anonymously: 484-8380. Anyone seeing someone actually tagging a spot should call the Police Department's main number: 931-5100.

Revel-Whitaker said the city will clean public areas, but private property is the owner's responsibility, adding that a homeowner should still let police know. She said in general there are two possibilities when it comes to so-called graffiti "artists."

"Either you have a whole lot of people running out and doing graffiti, or it's a few people that are making a larger problem," Revel-Whitaker said.

Regardless, she said getting rid of graffiti is important, because an area that's marked can give the impression that it's not being cared for -- which can lead to other problems with crime.

--Glenn Wohltmann

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