Graffiti spike hits Fresno business owners hard

FRESNO, Calif.

Local business owners and commercial realtors say they're frustrated with the amount of graffiti being placed on their property.

It's not only an eyesore, but it's also costing them at least a few hundred dollars to get things cleaned up.

"Now there are marks. When people pull in, it's noticeable and its. It's not pleasant having people see that on our windows."

Charlie Tello co-owns a tattoo and piercing shop in Central Fresno. Since his business opened up six months ago vandals have placed numerous scratch marks and etched some unwanted words on his windows.

"Just to clean it up and replace the windows, you're looking around close to $800 just for one window you know. And we've got other different types of windows so I mean to replace them yeah, it's a nice chunk of change." said Tello.

But Central Fresno isn't the only area seeing a spike in graffiti. Patches of it can be seen throughout the city with spray paint being the most popular choice.

Leasing signs are especially being targeted. To replace one of these be ready to shell out $200. Commercial realtors like Larry Fortune say their signs are easy targets and he has no choice but to take a proactive approach in keeping his properties clean.

"I spend about $400-$600 a year with some painter that goes down. He keeps an eye out on it for me and just sends me a bill when he has to paint it out." said Fortune.

An empty gas station's garage doors in Fresno proved to be the perfect canvas for vandals. The graffiti was so bad it forced the owners to get a chain link fence in order to keep future taggers away. And renting one cost at least $500.

Manuel Parales is no stranger to finding graffiti on his walls. Parales owns three Yosemite Falls Cafe restaurants in Fresno and Clovis and plans to open a fourth this fall near Granite Park. His idea of stopping the graffiti problem starts with those who are caught vandalizing property.

"The people that that are serving time for whatever reasons you know. Maybe the people that have been busted tagging, they're the ones that should go back behind it and repair it." said Parales.

Business owners and realtors are hoping the city and its police department will be able to step up and help them out. As some of them put it "We can't keep our eyes on our property all the time. We need help."

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