Graffiti vandals have hit Willow Point hard this month and that has business owner Orla Jensen both angry and alarmed.
The latest attack this weekend covered the walls of two buildings Jensen owns at Sunrise Square and included an ominous message: “I want to kill you.”
This escalation of the vandalism has Jensen and his tenants, like Dentist Dave Brodie, concerned. Jensen says the vandals have “stepped up their game with threats.”
“It’s getting a bit much. Something has to be done. It can’t just keep on happening. We’ve been hit five times in the last two weeks. They’ve also hit Willow Point School, the 7-Eleven and Discovery Foods. The RCMP have had a real problem with this and I don’t think they’ve put their finger on it yet.”
The business owner says the police met with him Sunday and seized some evidence. He says it is always the same kids involved because the tags, graffiti signatures, are always repeated with each attack.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Troy Beauregard confirms that officers collected evidence over the weekend.
“We don’t take these things lightly and we don’t want it to go unchecked.” Beauregard says police believe one person is involved in the latest graffiti incident and he warns that the offender could be subject to multiple charges when caught because the police are keeping track of all similar events.
Beauregard says the courts take these crimes seriously and he recalls that a young female tagger received jail time this spring.
One of the main concerns is the cost of repairing the damage, Beauregard says. Jensen confirms that:
“Each time they do this I’m looking at three days labour and gallons and gallons of paint. It’s constant … I can’t keep up. It’s a lot of work and a big expense.”
A few years ago the Willow Point Business Improvement Association posted a reward, but the vandalism stopped and no one was caught. Police have promised anonymity if people with information about the graffiti come forward.