West Seattle Crime Watch: Parents fed up with graffiti vandals

Tony sent photos of the latest tagging on the back of Schmitz Park Elementary School – which we’ve blurred, as we usually don’t show specific tags unless, for example, police are asking for help tracing/tracking someone (akin to the policy suggested here). Tony wrote that he saw it as he dropped his kids off at school Monday, and, “My girls told me that it wasn’t there on Friday. You can even see that the school had already painted over graffiti on this wall last week or the week before.” And another student’s father has posted about this in the WSB Forums, calling himself Schmitz Park Dad, and suggesting that community vigilance might stop the problem: “We know that all three taggings were done over weekends, most likely late in the evening. I am requesting that any Schmitz Park Elementary parents, or other community members in the neighborhood, make an extra effort to drive by the school in the evenings, particularly over the weekends. Perhaps one of us will spot the vandals and the authorities can be notified. The graffiti on all occasions has been on the north (rear) wall of the property by the very back playground.” (Read his entire post here.) As we mentioned to Tony in e-mail, police have said at recent public meetings that they want to hear about graffiti vandalism because they’re keeping a database to track it so that if and when someone is arrested, they may be linked to more than one case — so it’s important to make sure this is reported to police (if it’s a school or park, the institution is supposed to make the report directly), and also to photograph it before it’s painted over so those photos can be provided to police. And if you see taggers “in action,” call 911.

19 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Parents fed up with graffiti vandals"

  • natinstl September 22, 2009 (9:34 am)

    Frankly I’m sick of all the grafitti all over West Seattle. Besides reporting it is there anything else we can do? The Juneau St market and the Rite Aid has been hit once again.

  • Dave September 22, 2009 (9:39 am)

    Thanks to Rite Aid for getting rid of it so quickly!

  • JayDee September 22, 2009 (10:04 am)

    I have seen two new tags along Admiral that I plan to take out that appeared in the past week — One on a sign, one on a mailbox. If I take pictures of the tags before taking them out, to whom do I send them? Is there an e-mail address for the SW precinct?

  • Mike September 22, 2009 (10:22 am)

    I live right by there and call the police a lot for suspicious activity. They’ve responded 1 time.

  • bebecat September 22, 2009 (11:44 am)

    I too am sick of the defacing of our neighborhoods. I see graffiti and report it. The city is quick to respond on public property, but the private property tags are not always removed. I see that people are ready to take back our neighborhoods.ie. burglarbustindad etc. I hate to complain about the police, but why are they not patrolling our streets? Oh that’s right, busy having picnics at the precinct. Want mustard on that hotdog?

  • sad about this September 22, 2009 (11:49 am)

    Schmitz park has been in the news twice in a week and for unfortunate reasons. What is going on? Is it a sign of the times. Makes me sad.

  • WSB September 22, 2009 (11:53 am)

    The previous one was just a case of circumstance – the robbery suspect could have run anywhere. This one, the school’s being targeted, like so many other public and private facilities, by vandals. Not to take away from what good is happening there – when school started two weeks ago, we ran a photo of Alan Schmitz at the assembly outdoors, telling the story of the park and his family, and we’re planning to be there Thursday as Schmitz Park alum Capt. Gregory Johnson tells his space stories to the kids – every day has good news as well as bad news and we do our best to get it all out there … TR

  • Mike September 22, 2009 (12:17 pm)

    Has the school district thought about putting in more lights and video cameras outside schools? $500 in Costco CCV can pay for itself in 1 night of vandalism.

  • Schmitz Park Dad September 22, 2009 (2:42 pm)

    My daughter and I have adopted certain areas of West Seattle as our responsibility to keep “graffiti-free.” If we see any graffiti in these areas, we clean it up quickly. The faster it is cleaned up, the easier it is to remove, the more discouraged the vandals become. The vandals will NOT win if we all take a little action.

  • Mike September 22, 2009 (3:19 pm)

    Schmitz Park Dad, I agree we should all take part in cleaning up our neighborhoods but you are also taking some big risks by doing this. If these end up being legit gang related tags you might find yourself and your daughter confronted by some individuals that are rather angry with your actions. They don’t take it lightly. I’d suggest still calling it in to SPD since they need to document and resolve the activity.

  • Z September 22, 2009 (3:48 pm)

    I am really sick of the graffiti too. The last time the Juneau Market was hit, it took them a VERY long time (and numerous complaints) to get it painted out. I wonder how long it will take this time?!

  • ScubaO2 September 22, 2009 (4:08 pm)

    I think the inherent problem is the almost complete lack of police presence and response. The only time the police out here come, on time, is when something traumatic occurs. Otherwise they’re nowhere to be found (they’re known to relax down the street on Alki, across from the auto shop ALOT).

  • Jose September 22, 2009 (8:32 pm)

    Vigilante justice is the only thing that’s going to stop this crap.
    OK, I’m kidding.
    No, really…

  • Jose September 22, 2009 (8:34 pm)

    On a serious note: when do we start considering a curfew for teens in WS?
    Since the parents of these miscreants aren’t parenting, isn’t it time for the community to step in?
    WTF are these punks doing out on school nights at 1-4:00 AM, when I see them out there?
    On ANY nights at those hours?

  • Veteran Wisdom September 23, 2009 (9:55 am)

    Motion activated flood lights should detour any nefarious activity…

  • Michael September 25, 2009 (2:35 pm)

    These culo chongo’s should be made to paint jails when they get caught.

  • FlashCAMrep September 26, 2009 (12:42 pm)

    If you are looking for a solution to graffiti then consider the FlashCAM. Many cities across the U.S. have seen significant results. 85-100% reduction in the problem. http://WWW.QSTARTECH.COM
    The cost to clean up surpasses the cost to prevent by thousands!

  • Rats in a cage September 29, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    What is this world coming to and more importantly, why? Each generation has a less than ideal environment at school and in the general world. Having to deal with graffiti on the low end and murder on the other end of the spectrum. I am sad to give life to children and have them “inherit” such crap. Can’t even take them to grade school without graffiti staring at them as they line up to start their day or can’t take them to a park to have fun with out F^@% You spelled out for them on a portapotty. Is this really the type of environment we want to live in or raise children in? Not too civilized. I am involved in my community but I guess we need more involvement? I don’t know what the answer is but the current situation is quite depressing.

  • Schmitz Park Dad September 29, 2009 (9:10 pm)

    We cleaned up the “F^@% You” spelled out on a porta-potty at Ercolini Park last week as soon as we saw it. It took only about 10 minutes to clean up. We’ll continue to monitor graffiti at Ercolini park to keep that park looking nice for the kids and parents. We’ve adopted that park as our turf to keep clean, as the park has been very good to our family.

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