Graffiti a crime, not an art, in Amarillo

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - It's a battle many are trying to fight, but few are winning, graffiti spray painted all over Amarillo. Now one area business owner is taking a stand against vandalism.

Graffiti is literally overtaking Texas Tire and Tube. It's on the walls, on the roof, and even on vehicles in the parking lot. Owner Eddie Wynn is now slapped with a $12,000 bill to clean it all up.

Wynn says, "They're destroying my property and other people's property around me. It's time we did something about it. It's time we bring some attention to the problem and it's time we have the people put in jail or made to repay. They don't realize how much it costs to get this stuff cleaned up."

The biggest problem for victims of graffiti is once they pay to get it fixed, they run the risk of it happening again and again. That's because your clean wall is a graffiti tagger's blank canvas."

It's not just a problem at Texas Tire and Tube, it's all over the city. Wynn says it's time to fix it. Now Mayor Paul Harpole is keeping with his campaign promise.

Harpole says, "You can call the city and volunteer to be on this committee. We're going to try to have a meeting next week to brainstorm some of the ideas. It's going to be some leg work. It's going to be some groundwork to get this done. At the same time, the city is looking at legally what we can do to strengthen these ordinances and the police are responding to it too. It's going to have to be a joint community effort."

Wynn himself is pitching in by donating money to Amarillo Crime Stoppers to be used as reward money.

Wynn explains, "I want to help Amarillo. It is a disgrace to Amarillo."

He wants to make it clear that in Amarillo, graffiti is not an art, it's a crime.

If you see someone vandalizing property with graffiti, call Amarillo Crime Stoppers at 374-4400.