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Residents Notice Uptick in Graffiti; Police Say It's Not Gang Related

Residents in Silver Spring have noticed fresh graffiti recently. Police say it isn't gang related, but urge residents to call a hotline to coordinate removal.

Police say recent sightings of graffiti in Montgomery County aren't gang related. File|Patch
Police say recent sightings of graffiti in Montgomery County aren't gang related. File|Patch

While some Silver Spring residents have noticed an increase in graffiti in both neighborhoods and commercial areas, police said they have not seen an increase in gang graffiti.

Sara Sheppard and other residents saw graffiti drawings on recently installed telephone poles and the word “zap” on a stop sign.

Lt. Kevin Sullivan of the Montgomery County Police Department told Gazette.Net there is a difference between gang graffiti and tagging graffiti. Gang graffiti tends to be more simplistic, with just the gang name or symbol and possibly the nickname of he person who did the graffiti, while tagging graffiti is typically more “artistic” in nature and is not easily read.

County officials told the website certain areas such as Langley Park and Takoma Park have had gang graffiti in the past.

Property owners are responsible for removing graffiti, but the urban district helps to clean up any form of graffiti as long as the property owner signs a waiver.

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation works with a nonprofit called GRAB, which stands for GRaffiti ABatement, and tries to eliminate graffiti vandalism through eradication, education and enforcement. Common areas of cleanup include signal boxes, retaining walls, roads, bridge underpasses, pedestrian tunnels and fences.

Police ask county residents to call GRAB’s hotline at 301-607-4722 if they spot graffiti or tagging.

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