Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ketchum cracking down on graffiti

Police chief steps up efforts to stop rash of vandalism

Express Staff Writer

Graffiti, like that seen here on a wall in an alley off of Fourth Street between First and Second avenues, has become a priority for the Ketchum Police Department, which has received numerous reports of vandalism over the past two weeks. Photo by Willy Cook

The Ketchum Police Department is stepping up efforts to put an end to a recent string of vandalism that has brought fresh graffiti to walls and trash containers.

In an interview Monday, Ketchum Police Chief Steve Harkins said he has received about 20 reports of vandalism in the past two weeks, prompting the department to make the matter a priority.

"We've stepped up patrols and have authorized overtime to catch the person or people responsible," Harkins said. "We have an idea who may be doing this."

He declined to elaborate but said he does not think the graffiti is gang-related.

In addition to graffiti, Harkins said, someone broke a large plate glass door of the Gail Severn Gallery on the corner of First Avenue and Fourth Street last week.

Harkins said the city is helping affected property owners with a special removal device that removes spray paint with chemicals. He urged owners of vandalized property to contact his department.

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