Graffiti Impact On Tulsa Businesses

Wednesday, September 27th 2006, 10:13 am
By: News On 6

Graffiti taggers are at it again. A large vacant building in downtown Tulsa was covered with symbols sometime during the past couple of nights. And the side of a building on Cherry Street was also defaced recently.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says earlier this month, the News on 6 did a story on a graffiti battle going on back and forth between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It's not clear if this new graffiti is a continuation of that. But business owners say graffiti is clearly on the rise.

Michelle Anderson doesn't like it. But she's matter-of-fact about it. "This summer it was very often. I don't think we had any last summer. This summer we've had it every couple of weeks."

Graffiti appeared overnight on 6th Street not far from Anderson's business. Tulsa Police say El Norte and Bebop are familiar tags. They say they weren't as familiar with Rever, although we noticed the same name in video that was shot in Oklahoma City earlier this month.

Anderson's building escaped this time, but not every time. "You'd come back after the weekend and have graffiti all up and down the building, all sides of the building, the trash can."

What tagging enthusiasts might see as street art, business owners just find aggravating. "It's embarrassing. We work with schools and churches, and when you drive past a building and it's covered with graffiti, it makes it look like you're in a very tacky area, and we're not."

At a building on Cherry Street, we saw graffiti tagged Wayco, both on Cherry Street and on the building on 6th Street. Both police in Tulsa and Oklahoma City say they hadn't heard of that one. It just goes to show how difficult it is to keep up with it all.

Michelle Anderson: "You feel embarrassed to call the police department and say well, with everything else you're dealing with could you deal with our graffiti, but they did say it's best to call them and let them know so they can have an incident report."