By Jim Osborn
COLUMBUS — Calls started coming into the Columbus Police Station reporting incidents of graffiti about the time people were getting to work Tuesday morning and didn’t let up for more than five hours.
Callers reported 18 incidents of gang-related graffiti from 6:30-11:30 a.m. mostly against business buildings, but also including some residences and vehicles.
Police reported about $1,500 in property damage, with at least a half dozen of the graffiti victims not yet submitting damage estimates.
The incidents occurred late Monday and early Tuesday.
The graffiti reports came from all over town, with incidents scattered from 30 Center Mall along 23rd Street to Bill’s Tire Outlet’s warehouse on 12th Street and 24th Avenue.
Other reports came from just a few blocks away from the police station, including three in the 2600 block of Ninth Street downtown.
“Nobody was happy about it,” Columbus Police Capt. Todd Thalken said this morning while asking for help from the public in keeping their eyes peeled for possible graffiti incidents.
The police captain urged the public to call Crime Stoppers at (402) 563-4000 anonymously with any information on the recent vandalism binge.
The businesses struck during the graffiti spree included C & S Cars Inc., Village Wash House-old, Mr. Automotive, 30 Center Mall, Wize Buys Carpet Shop, Bill’s Tire, First Franchise Capital Corp., Mead Lumber, Mother Nature’s Emporium, Downtowner Building and ARL Credit Services.