TPD cracking down on graffiti; new hot spots appearing - Tucson News Now

TPD cracking down on graffiti; new hot spots appearing

Some equipment and new walls at the construction area off of I-19 near Ajo Way has been hit with graffiti. (Source: KOLD News 13) Some equipment and new walls at the construction area off of I-19 near Ajo Way has been hit with graffiti. (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson Police Department officers whose job is to target graffiti artists and taggers who vandalize property around town, are utilizing almost every tool possible to track down these taggers, and they say there's a new spot in town they're keeping an eye on.

TPD Ofc. Rigoberto Egurrola says the construction area off of I-19 near Ajo Way has been getting hit with graffiti, specifically the noise walls on both sides of I-19 between Ajo Way and the West Michigan Avenue pedestrian bridge.

"Our concern is once they complete the job, once it's painted, they're going to continue to tag the wall and that's going to be very costly," Egurrola said.

Egurrola says TPD is working with the Arizona Department of Transportation and studying trends of any tagging along the walls. He said even equipment like tractors and trucks have been seen with graffiti.

Ofc. Steve Placencia, also assigned to the department's anti-graffiti unit, said taggers tend to paint their monikers in the same area, which Placencia said makes it a little easier to track them down.

"We try to learn as much as we can about who's doing it and how they do it and where," Placencia said.

Not only is the graffiti an eyesore, Egurrola said, but the cleanup costs can range in the thousands of dollars. In August 2016, a man tagged the front of the Rialto Theatre along with 17 other buildings around Tucson.

Detectives with TPD’s anti-graffiti unit had been following tips on this case and ultimately made an arrest.

Graffiti spotted throughout the city can be reported in a few different ways, including a hotline, email tips and even on your smart phone through the city's app.

You can learn more about graffiti around the city here: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/graffiti/faq

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