Police Say Cleaning Up Residential Graffiti Falls On Homeowners

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-  By now you have probably seen the photos of the neighborhood near Sertoma Avenue that was vandalized over the weekend. Police say it’s a problem more residents might run into.

“Now that the warm weather is here we are starting to see more of that graffiti, but it’s not really concentrated on one certain area.  It happens all throughout Sioux Falls, “says Officer Sam Clemens, of the Sioux Falls Police Department.

Police say if you are a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to clean up the mess.  You have 14 days to cover it up or you could be ticketed for a nuisance violation.

“It’s a pain for the owners we know that, but there’s just simply too much graffiti for us to be cleaning it all up, “says Clemens.

“For any type of graffiti this works on any type of surface, “says Joseph Bell, Store Manager for Nyberg’s Ace Hardware Store.

The store has seen an increase in sales for cleaning products to remove graffiti.

“Over the last weekend, I’m sure a lot of people have heard a few markings that happened around town. We had those opportunities to help those customers in the store, “says Bell.

The store says a couple items can help in nearly every situation.

“Mineral spirits will normally help alleviate a lot of the paint from the surface and after that scrubbing it and washing it down will help take it off. Some surfaces might need to be repainted after the fact if it’s evasive, “says Bell.

If the graffiti is on your concrete, wood, or glass window a product called Goof Off will get the job done.

“Spray it and work it into whatever surface was potentially damaged by graffiti.  That one is nothing where you have to sand it, it depends on the surface. More poor surfaces like wood, cement might require some addition scrubbing or sanding, “says Bell.

While tagging is a tough crime to solve, it doesn’t have to leave permanent damage.

Police say they don’t have any suspects in the weekend vandalism. Most graffiti is done after dark.  If residents see anyone suspicious walking around at night, especially with a backpack, you are asked to call the police.

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