Call her “old fashioned,” said Vickie James, but she does not appreciate the late night drawings that have with increased frequency been appearing on downtown business’ outer walls.
The barber tech at Country Gentleman on Front Street said Tuesday that there has been rash of tagging in the last week.
Some paint appeared near the business overnight, and almost one entire side of Arkansas Beauty School was recently covered by graffiti, she said.
Police reports were filed this month with the Conway Police Department for the incident at the beauty school and for another at Conway Corporation’s office at Prairie Street.
Other business owners and employees have contacted police to make complaints, James said.
“Some of it seems gang related. There are some sexual things, some ugly stuff and some of it is even pretty,” said James. “But none of it is appreciated.”
James said she uses her own money and time to paint over the work as it is added, but those responsible have given her a spray-painted “thank you” for the new, clean surface area.
“We try to cover it up but it comes right back. We don’t want our downtown to look this way, and I hope people will start to watch for this,” she said.
According to the CPD incident report filed for criminal mischief at the beauty school on Markham Street, an officer was able to obtain finger prints from discarded spray cans.
La Tresha Woodruff, public information officer for the Conway Police Department, said she couldn’t confirm Tuesday if any of the art is gang related, “but it is annoying and no one wants it.”
“It’s against the law. People should file a report on it because if we don’t know about this, we can’t do anything about it,” said Woodruff.
Officers will increase patrols in an area upon request, but Woodruff said the department needs reports on record to properly address the issue.
Woodruff said the offenses are class A misdemeanors if damages are under $1,000 and punishable by a $1,000 fine or up to one year in jail. Penalties increase as damage increases.
James said she hopes bringing attention to an area that is “getting graffiti every night” might encourage others to look out for the “artists,” who can’t read the writing on the wall.
View a slideshow of the graffiti here.