Graffiti popping up around town

The graffiti at American Cleaners was applied late Tuesday or early Wednesday. (Eric Sagonowsky / News Advocate)

Police asking residents to be on the lookout

MANISTEE — A recent string of graffiti “tags” has brought the issue to the forefront of discussion in town. Most recently, American Cleaners, at 285 River St., was tagged on the building’s wall facing U.S. 31.

“It happens,” said Sgt. Steve Schmeling of the Manistee City Police. “We have been looking at the issues. We have done some upgrading in our security measures, and we have updated our patrols a bit more in areas where we are noticing the ‘tagging.’”

The American Cleaners tag was applied either late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. Byron Joseph, owner of the business, said he saw it when he got to work on Wednesday.

“We will have to remove it or paint over it,” he said. “I’m not sure it’ll get done before spring because it’s too cold to paint now. It bothers me, only in that it’s unsightly and that I can’t do much about it right now.”

Schmeling said his department knows about the tags, but graffiti is a tough crime to combat. He is encouraging all Manistee residents to immediately report any suspicious activity by calling Manistee County Central Dispatch at (231) 723-6241.

“We are doing all we can,” Schmeling said. “We are encouraging people, that, if they see something out of the ordinary, or see some kids in the general area standing around and looking suspicious, to call us. That way we can send one of our patrol cars to that area to check it out.”

According to Schmeling, it is likely that more than one person is involved, because one person usually applies the tag while others stay on lookout.

“It’s an issue for us,” Schmeling said. “Anytime somebody is doing something to deface our community, we need to take action on it. We need to have community help to back us up on this. We are going to do all that we can, (and) we have talked to our officers about it. To us it is a big issue.”

Tips can also be called in to the Manistee City Police, (231) 723-2533.



Posted by Eric Sagonowsky

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