Homeowner uses surveillance video to help capture vandals tagging homes with graffiti, gang symbols
HOUSTON – After years of enduring gang graffiti scrawled on the exterior walls of her small town home, a woman in southwest Houston decided to fight back.
She lives in the 8300 block of Leamont Drive and asked that her name to not be revealed for fear of retribution.
She said for the last five years, vandals have left graffiti, usually spray-painted gang symbols, on the walls of her home and her neighbors’ that's been a continuing problem for the five years she's lived there.
“I like everything nice,” She said. “My property, property (and) neighborhood, nice. But they go, they go, they draw all like that, and (it’s) very ugly. I don’t like.”
It’s a tough crime for police to solve, and usually not high on their priority list.
So she recently decided to give them some help by setting up security cameras to try to catch the vandals in the act. It worked.
Last Thursday at about 7 p.m., the cameras recorded several young men drive up in a black, 2004 Nissan sedan. The driver got out with a can of spray paint and defaced a brick wall, then quickly got back in the car and sped away.
Her cameras got a clear shot of him as he did it, and also recorded the car’s license plate number, Texas plate number JGY-0469.
The homeowner hopes her video will help police identify the driver and his friends. Houston Crime Stoppers offers a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to arrests. That number is 713-222-TIPS.
And under Texas law, graffiti vandalism isn’t just a nuisance, if it causes more than $1,500 in property damage, it can be prosecuted as a felony, up to a first-degree felony which carries a punishment range of from five years to 99 years in prison.
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