Graphic graffiti artist hits several downtown Farmington buildingsSaturday may have started out as a nice day, but it got worse quickly for Kay and Elsworth Hoeppner when they discovered the graffiti on their new $3,500 fence.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
Saturday may have started out as a nice day, but it got worse quickly for Kay and Elsworth Hoeppner when they discovered the graffiti on their new $3,500 fence.
They weren’t alone, either. Several neighbors up and down First Street found the work of a graffiti artist on their properties. Some of it read something that resembles “Smiley” on it. Some included a card deck-type spade, a few of which were circled. And then, there was the graffiti on the utility pole outside the Hoeppner’s home.
“Oh, it’s dirty, nasty stuff,” Kay Hoeppner said of the 2-foot, blue penis spray painted on the utility pole.
A new kind of graffiti tag showed up on residential properties this past weekend, and it’s more graphic than some of the “artwork” of the past.
Over the course Saturday and Sunday, Farmington police took nine separate reports of graffiti vandalism, and most of the reports came from homeowners.
In one instance, the graffiti artist used green paint on a white garage door to paint all three tags. Another neighbor had to call the police, Elsworth said, because a guest’s new pickup truck had been covered with graffiti, as well.
Farmington police detective sergeant Lee Hollatz said the style of graffiti is not one police have seen around town before. But at the same time, he’s sure of one thing – the artist is likely a student.
“Based on experience and training, we know that these are young people,” Hollatz said.
As part of the investigation, Hollatz will meet with both of the department’s school resource officers to see if they have seen similar symbols around the schools. That information could help in identifying the individual or individuals responsible for the damage.
So far, Hollatz said, no witnesses have come forward, but he’s hopeful someone may have seen something and would be willing to report it to police.
Kay Hoeppner feels the same way.
“It just goes to show we have to be more observant. We have to get out there and watch our neighborhood,” she said. “It’s costing us homeowners money to take this off.”
A small amount of graffiti was also reported on the sidewalk at the Depot Way Arts Park. Farmington parks and recreation director Randy Distad said the damage was less than he’d seen in the past. He planned to send parks crew members to pressure wash it off of the sidewalk. Distad also said the city would take care of removing the graffiti from the utility poles that were vandalized.
Anyone who saw the vandalism happening, or saw something suspicious in the area of First Street between Elm Street and Ash Street this past weekend, is asked to contact Hollatz at the Farmington Police Department, 651-280-6700.