Tagging Graffiti

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

Those who leave behind evidence of their identity at a crime scene always risk getting caught.
The Reno Police Department says that's the draw behind tagging graffiti.
But, Mark Awisus, the manager of the News Group off Boynton Lane in Southeast Reno, says the markings left on his trucks are becoming a costly problem.
"The cleaning process is very involved. We have to take cans of stuff that's very toxic and spray on the side of the truck and then come back and re-paint them. Sometimes we have to re-paint the whole truck."
Detective Mike Magee, with the Reno Police Department graffiti unit, says taggers leave behind their mark for the excitement and recognition.
Part of the problem for police is linking a person's "tagging" name to their real identify, to make an arrest.
For example, investigators say the people who tagged this business have done other tagging around town.
Detective Magee says the key to taking away the excitement is an arrest... but, that can be hard when people don't report a tag.
"They need to report it to the police right away, that's the important time. Then we need to get it removed right away, we need photographs if they're going to remove it themselves because I know some people don't want it in front of their business."
Detective Magee says the graffiti unit is making progress with about 3-to-4 arrests a week.... but, they're also investigating about 200 cases a month.
That's why reporting a tag can help nab someone responsible for tags all across town... possibly making the difference between a misdemeanor offense and a felony.
"We work actual cases against kids, so if a kid has done 10 cases of graffiti, but only two reported it, that kid is only going to get tried and punished for those two crimes... to where if we can add all the cases together he may be looking at more jail time or even prison."
The manager of The News Group says he wants the tagging to stop and he planned to install motion cameras outside the business today to deter or possibly catch the taggers.


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