Mural vandals caught on surveillance camera in Southwest Philadelphia

SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's an unspoken, but well-known rule in the world of street artists and muralists that you never paint over someone else's work.

"Be respectful to other people's work. To appreciate it, and don't go over other people's work unless you can top it," said YOMI, mural artist.

But that's exactly what happened to YOMI's brand new commissioned mural in front of the Philly Homebrew Outlet West.

Surveillance camera video captures the vandals in the act around 3 Friday morning. First you can see the three taggers walk by, each looking over at the mural.

They stop a few feet away and seem to think about it, then two of them whip out the gold and white spray paint and go for it.

"I parked up the road, and then I saw all the tags up on the bridge and I hadn't seen those at all, and then I saw the door over at the tool library, and boom there's that and then the 'NO,' " said James McMillan, business owner.

Business owner James McMillan says he installed the two surveillance cameras partially because of the new mural.

"Oddly enough, it was the same day that we installed the cameras," said McMillan.

He quickly delivered the frustrating news to YOMI, who spent 40 hours creating the mural.

"The text message was like, 'Well that didn't take long,' " said YOMI.

YOMI has completed more than 60 murals in the Philadelphia area over the last three years.

This is the first time one has been tagged.

"Some people will see it, some people will mess around with it, some people will appreciate it," said YOMI.

It's also the first time he'll have to go back and redo some of his work.

"I'm going to go and fix it. That's what it is," said YOMI.
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