May 15, 2014 6:20 pm

WATCH: Vandals target Penticton shops with graffiti

PENTICTON — The City of Penticton has a major graffiti problem on its hands.

Downtown business owners have noticed a vandalism spike this week and believe the tags all look very distinct – possibly done by the same person.

“You look at the nice curves that he’s done and that’s his style, you’ll see it all over town,” said Wes Barton as he pointed to one of the tags.

Barton has owned a downtown store for 30 years. In all that time, he has never seen a graffiti artist deface another artist’s work.

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“Usually they have more respect for artists,” said Barton. “He’s just wild and crazy, and disrespectful to the town.”

Another business owner, Nick Vasilaki, said many shops deal with vandalism every so often. But this time, it appeared to have happened overnight.

Vasilaki is especially upset because his family has spent $750 to repaint another downtown business they own.

But it was tagged almost immediately after.

“It seems like wherever it is clean, they vandalize it,” he said with frustration. “It looks so nice after you paint it, and then they come back and do it again. It’s not pleasing that’s for sure.”

It may be most noticeable in alleys, but the RCMP said it is happening all over the community.

“We’ve had a lot of damage to city parks and facilities here in Penticton over the last few months. [It’s] similar graffiti damage, so we think it’s someone in the community here,” said Sgt. Rick Dellebuur.

While the police investigates, some business owners said they will try to thwart graffiti vandals themselves and install security cameras.

“So there will be somebody watching. I think it’s kind of sad that it’s come to that,” said Barton.

Kerri Milton, the Executive Director of the Downtown Business Association, said they are working to clean up the graffiti.

The association is organizing a “paint out” event which will take place in the next few weeks.

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