Fighting "taggers" along I-95

February 12, 2009 3:10:28 PM PST
Vandals have made parts of I-95 in Delaware their grafitti-strewn playground. Driving along the highway, there's graffiti everywhere you look, even on a recently built overpass on the northbound side of the highway.

"For many people, the first impression they get of the First State is some of this junk that they look at when they're driving down the highway," said Cpl. Jeffrey Whitmarsh of the Delaware State Police.

So-called "taggers" hit a DelDOT yard over the last two days while the weather was warm.

Wherever they go, they always leave their weapons of destruction behind.

Police say there's an easy way to know if their child is a tagger. The clue lies at the top of a spray paint can.

"The top of it has been snapped off, which is commonly something that graffiti suspects do because they want to keep it as a show of pride, if you will," said Cpl. Whitmarsh. "They're going to keep the paint cap for themselves."

Cleaning up graffiti doesn't come cheap, and it's the taxpayers' money going to waste. Last year alone, $30,000 was spent to clean up the northern span of I-95, and just under $100,000 was spent to clean up graffiti on major roads in the state last year.

"Catch them, make them clean it up. I don't care how long it takes, they should make them clean it up," said Joan Smith of Secane, Pa.

For that to happen, police will have to catch the culprits first.

If you see a tagger, you're asked to immediately call police.

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