A Rexburg police officer discovered graffiti in the picnic area at Rexburg’s Nature Park during the early morning hours of Jan. 25.
Captain Randy Lewis of the Rexburg Police Department said the graffiti was found at about 2 a.m.
“There was a large tag on the sign and graffiti on the poles,” Lewis said.
Lewis said the city has cameras to survey the area in the park where the graffiti was found, but they do not have a suspect at this time.
According to the Center of Problem-Oriented Policing, there are four types of graffiti. This incident is classified as “tagger graffiti.”
“It’s a shame people feel the need to vandalize at our parks that are there for people to enjoy,” said Jeff Crowther, the City of Rexburg recreation director.
Lewis said the city has had trouble with graffiti and tagging in the past and that it happens frequently.
“We caught a couple of BYU-I students who were really into graffiti in the past,” Lewis said. “And it was really good artwork, but it was on someone else’s property.”
According to the Center of Problem-Oriented Policing, graffiti is often viewed as a persistent, if not an intractable, problem. Few graffiti offenders are apprehended.
A tag spelling out “Wolf” found on a picnic structure at the Rexburg Nature park.
Lewis said if an individual is caught, they could be fined up to $1,000 and face possible jail time. They may also be ordered to pay for and repair the damages, whether it’s replacing or painting the damaged area.
“Was there much damage this time? No,” Lewis said. “But the city has to go out and pay at least $500 on the repair, if not more.”
Lewis said residents may not see graffiti often in Rexburg because there is a policy and procedure of getting it cleaned up immediately.
Crowther said he hopes this will not be a reoccurring issue.
“One of the highlights of Rexburg is its parks,” Crowther said. “We always want to keep them nice and clean. Our parks department is really good at getting rid of vandalism.”
According to the Center of Problem-Oriented Policing, while a single incident does not seem serious, graffiti does have a cumulative effect and can attract more graffiti.
“Nothing good comes out of graffiti,” Lewis said. “It just attracts more.”