A Wichita Falls business owner says he's fed up with being the victim of vandals and is looking for answers how to solve this seemingly chronic problem.
Graffiti scattered around Wichita Falls affects this business owner and many homeowners but city officials say there is a program that can help.
Paul Garrison, owner of Garrison's convenience store, says he has been the victim of taggers.
"It's unbelievably frustrating," Garrison says. "It's the time and effort and it's expensive to remove."
Garrison says it happens a few times a month and he's even caught the taggers on surveillance.
"We've been getting hit with graffiti and just people scribbling whatever nonsense. I think it looks bad. If you don't take care of it, people will start associating with you that you don't care. We take care of it quickly," Garrison says.
Also, Garrison says cleaning up after the vandals has already costed him thousands of dollars.
Wichita Falls Code Enforcement Supervisor Rita Miller says there is an abatement program available for people who have become victims of the taggers.
"If they call our office, we will send them a letter giving them 30 days to fill out a form and that form then allows us to go abate the graffiti free of charge," Miller says. The sooner that we can get out there the better because usually if there is graffiti there then the kids or whoever that's doing it sees it and adds more to it so it becomes larger if it's not taking care of pretty quickly."
In addition, Miller says before the city can go out and cover the damage, home or business owners must file a police report.
It is something Garrison says is not a top priority for the police department.
"I would like to see the police more proactive in getting this stopped," Garrison exclaims. "To me, they're not as interested in it as they should be."
According to WFPD Raids Online, since the start of the year, there have been 133 reported cases of vandalism compared to 228 this time last year.
Anyone who sees graffit around Wichita Falls can call the Graffiti Hotline at 761.6800.
If you witness vandalism taking place, you are urged to call police immediately.