Downtown Pittsburg is seeing an increase in graffiti vandalism
Business owners are worried the impact it'll have
PITTSBURG, Ks. — The downtown Pittsburg area has seen a spike of graffiti vandalism since April.
Sydney Anselmi is the owner of Audacious boutique in Pittsburg, and she has seen a huge increase in graffiti around her building and in the downtown area.
“Behind my building in the alley way and in the area where we park there’s been an explosion of graffiti back there and then just in general, a lot of tagging downtown.”
Anselmi is worried that the new additions to some buildings will push people away from the area.
“If their business has been tagged or it has tagging around it there might not be the foot traffic in there and a lot of us who are main street downtown business owners need that foot traffic to stay alive.”
She is also worried that it could give the illusion that the downtown area is not safe.
“It feels like it cheapens it you know and that’s not something that you like to see.”
Davey Froman, owner of Miners and Monroe has some mixed feelings about the graffiti.
“This is an issue that needs to be addressed and addressed quickly but I do think there could be a way that the city, the police could almost maybe collaborate for a lack of better words to give you know these people an outlet to express themselves.”
Froman says he believes in self-expression but that there is a difference between vandalism and Art.
“If you want to express an idea or message on a building or a canvas ask permission, because until then if you don’t have permission at that point it’s not Art it’s just vandalism” he added.
Despite the amount of graffiti in the area, the Pittsburg Police Department has only received nine reports of tagged properties in the area since April.
Officials said that depending on the amount of damage to a property, the vandal could face a felony charge.
If damages are less than $1500 it is a misdemeanor but more than $1500 is a felony.
For Anselmi, she hopes the vandalism will stop.
“It’s a matter of you know when is it going to end, I hope that someone is caught soon.”
The Pittsburg Police Department is urging people to report the vandalism or if they see anything suspicious by calling the non-emergency dispatch line.
That number is 620-231-1700.
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