Beacon Hill residents fear spike in graffiti may signal turf war

Near NW Side neighborhood seeing more graffiti in area


SAN ANTONIO – An apparent "turf war" is going on in Beacon Hill between taggers on the city's near Northwest Side.

Many residents report a spike in graffiti and neighbors say they are fed up with all the graffiti popping up.

"It's all over the place," said Melissa Latimer, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years. "And, it's getting a little out of hand. I have a next door neighbor and his garage door is always getting graffitied."

Aside from the eyesore, some neighbors, like John Karlis, are also concerned that the spike in graffiti is turning into a turf war between a younger tagging crew and a gang, known to be violent.

"Hopefully you don't have a bunch of 14-year-olds getting jammed up one night by bunch of a 19-year-olds who are packing and want to handle business in a completely different way," said Karlis. "These 14-year-olds are carrying spray cans and a backpack. The 19-year-olds are carrying spray cans and something else."

Police are looking into the graffiti and the San Antonio City Council's District 1 office has hired someone specifically for these issues.

KSAT Crime Analyst Eddie Gonzales said graffiti is a community problem and even if the graffiti appears again after its been painted over, neighbors need to stay on top of it.

"Sometimes it's hard to catch," said Gonzales. "If they are out at 2, 3 or 4 in the morning doing this, it's a chance of an officer going by or by the time somebody calls, they are usually gone by then too."

The city does have an abatement program, free of charge for businesses and homeowners, where the city can either provide the paint or the labor to cover up the graffiti.

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.

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