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Crime, Law & Justice

Graffiti Becomes Growing Problem During Pandemic

Eugene Police Department

As the pandemic rolls on, Eugene Police want folks to be alert to a growing problem: graffiti.

While graffiti is a common problem, there are fewer people out and about to observe and report this crime.  Complaints have been coming in from not only downtown Eugene, but other locations in the city.
The EPD says graffiti is more than a nuisance. It costs private property owners, schools, and businesses money and time to address the damage.  

City resources are also spent in erasing the markings.  Each year, the City of Eugene Public Works Maintenance Division removes more than 9,250 tags on public property.

Chief Chris Skinner says the issue spiked at the same time schools shut down in March.

“Most of the graffiti we’re seeing is not anything that's anchored specifically to a particular group like a gang affiliation or gang communication, which is what we call "tagging", back and forth," he tells KLCC. 

"But the graffiti is up, and unfortunately some of the content of the graffiti is pretty hateful.”

Skinner says the worst has been anti-Semitic.

There has been a rash of graffiti tags as well. The EPD says more than 20 markings have been connected to 39-year-old Kai Rose, of Eugene.  He faces multiple counts of criminal mischief in the second degree.

People who see either tags associated with Rose, or discover hateful graffiti in the city, should contact Eugene Police on their non-emergency line (541)682-5111.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

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