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Graffiti taking over neighborhood

Katie Crowther

Graffiti taking over neighborhood

CREATED Feb. 12, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A local homeowner says graffiti is taking over her neighborhood. Natosha Benning reached out to Action News for help.

Fresh blotches of graffiti decorate the walls and traffic signs around Benning's subdivision, known as Tierra Linda. It's located near Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway.

"It's exploded almost overnight." Benning says. "In the past two weeks, we've seen a lot more markings in our neighborhood."

She says the worst of it, is on two abandoned homes around the corner. "They are completely covered. It's hazardous blight."

Benning and her husband bought a house in the area six months ago. The sudden surge of spray-paint, has them already thinking about moving.

"What if it gets worse?" she wonders. "Our property value will suffer."

Cleaning up the graffiti on signs and walls is one thing, but finding the owners of abandoned homes that have become spray-painted eyesores, is more difficult for code enforcement.

"In order to go and paint over someone's home, we first have to try and find the mortgage holder, and make them responsible for it," says Clark County Code Enforcement Supervisor, Cindy Lucas. "That can be a long process."

Lucas says the county has been grappling with a recent upsurge in graffiti, which is often the case when weather starts to get warmer.

"It's a daily battle," she says. "We actually have painters that are painting over graffiti all day, every day of the week. It's happening in neighborhoods throughout the valley. Unfortunately, vandals are typically hard to catch, because they strike when no one's around."

The county sent painters to cover some of the graffiti near Benning's house. But she believes the writing is on the wall -- vandals will strike again

Benning plans to go door-to-door in her community, to start a neighborhood watch. She also started a Facebook and Twitter page, with the purpose of getting more people on board in the fight against graffiti.

Twitter account: @graffitigone
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/287606728034821/

Lucas says If you notice graffiti in your area, you should call police because vandalism is a crime. You should also call the Southern Nevada Graffiti Coalition hotline at 455-4509.

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