Sparks Police On Hunt For Local Tagging Group

By: Auburn Hutton Email
By: Auburn Hutton Email

Vandals strike in a Sparks business district...and it happened just feet away from police headquarters. Nearly a dozen truck trailers and a building in East Sparks were trashed by taggers Thursday night.

Police are now searching for a tagging group that has damaged thousands of dollars worth of property in Sparks in recent months. It happened at an industrial park near Sparks Boulevard and Prater Way, nearly a block away from the Sparks Police Department.

The owner of Bear Creek Transportation, Jason Stegall was appalled at what he found when he showed up at work. Six of his trucks had been severely vandalized, along with property and vehicles of several other local businesses.

"Immediately you start filling up with rage and anger, you know? Why did this happen?" said Stegall.

Stegall says the damage could cost him thousands of dollars to clean up, plus the money lost while his trucks just sit. He says he hardly considers the tagging 'art,' and furthermore, he can't believe how close it happened to the police department. He says if it's happening at his business, it's probably happening all over town.

"I'm not the only one who's feeling the frustration. This is happening everyday, everywhere I look I see something new. I see cleanup crews out and it's costing taxpayers a lot of money that we shouldn't have to pay," said Stegall.

Stegall filed a police report and has full intentions of pressing charges. The Sparks Graffiti Removal Director, Scott Robbins, says documenting the tagger's work could help solve the crime. He recognizes the work of these taggers...and says cleaning up their messes is a full-time job. Robbins responds to about 500 tagging calls a week in Sparks...and he says this is one of the worst he's seen.

"They were here for a long time. They destroyed a lot of property here," said Robbins.

Stegall says the taggers should be ashamed. He says if they think their artwork is so great, why not do it to their own property.

"If they put half the effort into doing something good for the community, that they do to destroying someone's property, we'd have a lot better country to live in."

Robbins says the graffiti problem in Sparks has continuously increased, and has now gotten completely out of hand. He says the city is awaiting a new tracking program that will help different agencies share information about certain tagger's profiles.

If you have any information about the crime, you can call "Secret Witness" at 322-4900.


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