Schenectady County

Vandals spray paint businesses

Vandals struck an area from South Thompson Street to the Mariaville Road bridge, tagging several bus
Steve Rowley of Duanesburg, the assistant manager at Borst Oil and Tire Center, points out some graffiti on one of their buildings in Rotterdam Wednesday afternoon.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Steve Rowley of Duanesburg, the assistant manager at Borst Oil and Tire Center, points out some graffiti on one of their buildings in Rotterdam Wednesday afternoon.

Vandals struck an area from South Thompson Street to the Mariaville Road bridge, tagging several businesses with spray paint graffiti between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

Lt. Michael Brown of the Rotterdam Police Department said most of the graffiti was concentrated in the area of the Borst Oil and Tire Center off South Thompson Street, but extended to the abutments of the railroad overpass.

“They spent some time there doing what they did,” he said. “It wasn’t quick.”

Brown said the graffiti was the second instance of vandalism to strike businesses near the tracks this week. Buildings at Schenectady Steel off Old Mariaville Road were also tagged recently.

Schenectady Steel President Anthony Tebano estimated the graffiti caused roughly $1,000 worth of damage. He said the graffiti has been showing up in various spots around the steel yard with increasing frequency as of late.

“It’s almost like a daily thing now,” he said.

The hardest hit was Borst, which had almost the entire front of a garage building covered in spray painted letters and figures. Vandals also painted the side of an oil truck in the parking lot.

“It’s all over the place,” said Scott Fontaine, a manager at Borst. “It looks like the side of a train coming up from New York City.”

Fontaine said he’s never had a problem with vandals before, even though his business isn’t clearly visible from any well-trafficked roads. He was unsure how much damage was done, but speculated the graffiti would be difficult to clean from its cement and aluminum walls.

“We’re just lucky they didn’t get any of our customers’ cars,” he said.

The incident is the second significant burst of graffiti vandalism over the last year. Between September and October, vandals struck the Rotterdam Softball League’s concession stand in Eunice Esposito Park, the Babe Ruth buildings and dugouts at Memorial Park, as well as on a wall at the Rotterdam Boys and Girls Club.

Graffiti was also discovered on the Hamburg Street bridge, a Hamburg Street business and the Mariaville Road bridge. Police later arrested three teenage boys, who were accused of causing damage in excess of $10,000.

Brown said the level of vandalism around Rotterdam does appear to be rising. “Over the past couple of years it has become more of a problem,” he said. “For a week or two we’ll get a rash of it, and then there’s nothing.”

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