City police are asking residents to be more vigilant in their neighborhoods, as they investigate the more than 30 vandalism incidents reported in the past two months.
Tagging and spray painting of public and private property became an issue over the summer at places like the farmers market pavilion, the old Bleecker Square Church and the Four Corners police said. Other incidents had also been reported of the same nature in Johnstown.
Gloversville Police spokesman Capt. John Sira said reports of spray-painted pentagrams, “666” and “Satan” spelled backwards began coming in at the beginning of August. The incidents have diminished in the past couple of weeks.
“My guess is because school has started again,” he said. The investigation is continuing.
At the farmers market pavilion this past weekend, trash and other debris had been thrown around and the sidewalk spray-painted.
First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth has been concerned about the vandalism since the church she attends, Emmanuel Baptist Church on James Street, was spray painted a few weeks ago.
“Our church took care of it ourselves,” she explained, but any damage to public property will need to be cleaned by the Department of Public Works.
On Sept. 21 she asked a group of kids who are attempting to get a skate park built in the city to help clean the farmers market.
Wentworth was grateful for the help but said there is once again trash all over the area. Also, wiring that had been installed on the awning of the pavilion to keep birds away had been torn down and was seen lying next to the building, so she believes someone climbed onto the roof.
“I want them to have respect for their community and clean up after themselves,” she said, explaining how the groups of teens who congregate at the pavilion are allowed to be there because it is a public area.
She does not know if they are the same group doing the spray painting.
“It obviously has to be cleaned up by the city at the taxpayers’ expense, and that’s a concern,” she said. “It contributes to the deterioration of our city, specifically downtown.”
Sira said despite the nature of what is being spray painted around the city, there is no reason to believe the suspects are dangerous. Also, he said the places that were tagged were merely targets of opportunity.
Sira is asking residents to report any suspicious behavior.
“Just be more aware of your surroundings,” he advised. “If it’s the middle of the night and your dog starts barking, there’s usually a reason why. Give us a call, we’ll respond to make sure nothing inappropriate is happening.”