Savannah businesses targeted by spray paint vandals

By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - If you live or work downtown, you may have seen a number of homes and buildings defaced by spray paint.

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police calls it tagging.

WTOC found at least 10 buildings drawn on with spray paint and paint markers. Police say there are probably more.

The drawings, some resembling a ghost character along with block letters and initials, popped up all over downtown less than a week ago. It's a nuisance for property owners and the people who have to look at them everyday.

"It is very annoying," Susanne Ridgeway told WTOC.

Ridgeway is not a fan of what she found outside her Melt Bodymind Studio on East Liberty Street.

"I came into work the other day and someone had painted a nice little mural for us. I have no idea what it stands for, why it's there," she said.

Along with the ghosts are many tags, some big and some small.

"I didn't know if it was a SCAD student or gang related. It's interesting it is the same picture in every location," Ridgeway said.

The ghost, and the same exact signatures and initials found by Melt are on various buildings from Liberty Street down to State Street and along York Lane.

"It's their signature. It's how they try to identify themselves as if they are artistic," Adam Cerbone told WTOC. "But they are not artistic. They are horrible."

After 16 years downtown, working off of Ogelthorpe Avenue, attorney Adam Cerbone says graffiti tagging is nothing new, but the number of them along York Lane is distrurbing.

"The graffiti we had in the past week is worse than we had in the past," Cerbone said. "The defacing serves no purpose and it is very immature and childish on the part of whoever did this."

"Plus, it makes my business look not so good," Ridgeway said.

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police snapped pictures of the grafitti and are investigating.

"I hope they catch who did it sop they don't do it again," Ridgeway said.

Ridgeway is now wondering if anything will stop vandals in the future.

"I just had the city put lights up to add lighting to the budiling and it surpises me someone had enough time to stand there on a heavy traffic area and without someone seeing them and paint on there," she said.

Police believe they may have the two people responsible in custody, but they have not been charged with the vandalism. No names have been released, but the two did have paint markers in their back packs when they were arrested on a different charge.

The investigation is ongoing.

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