February 24, 2015 - 7:30 PM
KAMLOOPS – The next time you pass by Puddle Jumpers on York Avenue, bring your camera; you could help catch whoever has been tagging the daycare almost every weekend for the last two years.
“We need the community’s help to identify (the vandals),” Ronnie Bouvier of the Kamloops Graffiti Task Force says. “People know who these people are, 100 per cent.”
Daycare manager Shelley Schweitzer echoes Bouvier’s sentiment.
“Everyone knows exactly who they are. They come out from Westsyde to tag,” she says.
The taggers don’t create any art pieces. It is just scribbles in a variety of colours that Bouvier and Schweitzer have painted over countless times. Even more frustrating is some of it has been very graphic and inapproriate, especially in an area where young children are every day.
“It’s just very frustrating and it really doesn’t look good,” Schweitzer says. With a laugh she adds “at least we’re getting good at painting.”
“The real graffiti artists are shaking their heads. It’s just an embarrassment,” Bouvier adds.
In the hopes of protecting blank wall space on the building, Schweitzer’s team painted several pieces of Dr. Seuss themed artwork in hopes of deterring the vandals. It lasted for a while, before it – along with other wall space – was tagged over again.
"It's a little secluded nook. They hang out there and tag it up," Schweitzer says.
“People see these kids doing it,” Bouvier says. “It’s not illegal to take someone’s photo.”
While the two want to catch someone in the act of tagging, Bouvier advises not to approach a tagger. Rather, when she gathers enough evidence against the taggers, she plans to pass it on to RCMP. Bouvier hopes photos of the taggers will be submitted so they can be used as evidence as well.
Last year the Graffiti Task Force cleaned up two-and-a-half football fields’ worth of scrawls and tags. Recently Bouvier and a co-worker spent two days painting over 3,000 square feet of graffiti.
To report any suspicious activity, contact the Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000. To remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015