• Residents on alert for vandals spraying graffiti

    By: Tony Thomas


    ATLANTA,None - At first it doesn't look like much, but residents in Atlanta's Collier Hills community are alarmed after finding graffiti throughout their neighborhood.

    Atlanta police confirm there has been a noticeable rise in graffiti activity in the Buckhead neighborhood and officers said the Graffiti Task Force is working with residents in the area to end the problem.

    Elizabeth Koets has lived in the Collier Hills area for 40 years.

    "The vulgarness of it bothers me," Koets told Channel 2's Tony Thomas. "It makes it feel very urban and maybe we all need to work on our manners," she said.

    Neighbors said they are banding together via a community email chain to be on the lookout for whoever might be doing this and promising to take pictures of any graffiti they find.

    Koets showed Thomas some of the most visible spots, including under a bridge along the new beltline walking path

    Residents said the graffiti started popping up soon after the path opened a couple of years ago.

    "Guess that's what happens when you drive it out of other places though" Fisher Strickland told Thomas as he walked his dog along the path.

    But what angers residents the most is they said the graffiti is spreading. Recently, one resident said their van was tagged.

    "It's one of those things that makes you stop and think , you know this isn't a joke anymore, it's not just a childish prank -- this is actually vandalism," Jeff Johnson said.

    An Atlanta police representative told Channel 2 via email, "We are experiencing a recent increase of graffiti incidents in that area. Our Graffiti Task Force is aware of the problem and has been working closely with area residents since this became an issue.

    "We do have several leads that we are following but cannot go into detail on that. This is an active investigation. It is also important to note that just this week we arrested or issued warrants for seven of the city's worst graffiti vandals."

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