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Paint splattering a crime fad?
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Earlier this year, I noticed many instances where paint had been splattered on various roadways throughout this county. It is not entirely uncommon for a can of paint to occasionally fall from a construction or service vehicle, but these "spills" are now numerous and can be found on just about any roadway in our area.

A resident contacted me about the problem and pointed out that "word had it in the schools" that these spills were actually acts of vandalism. It seemed odd that there were never any paint cans to be found where these spills had occurred - only paint-covered cups remained at the location. Now that the police have found evidence that these paint splatters are intentional criminal acts, they will be handled as criminal investigations.

Besides the obvious fact that paint spilled on roadways is unsightly and messy, motorists who cannot avoid the spills end up with paint on their tires, rims, fender wells and on the exteriors of their vehicles. There is also the problem of the paint being sprayed into the air and ending up on windshields and other areas cars. The damage from just one of these acts of vandalism is most certainly in the thousands of dollars with the hapless victims having to pay for the damages themselves. Wet paint is also very slick, and while we do not have recorded instances of paint-induced traffic collisions yet, they are sure to occur in the future.

It may be that the persons responsible for this new vandalism "fad" are not fully aware of the dangers and damage they are causing. Regardless, it is a serious problem with the potential of not only costing people a lot of money for paint removal and repairs, but there is the real danger of people being hurt or killed when they cannot stop or lose control of their cars owing to the slick roadway surface.

In writing this, it is my sincere hope that the people throwing paint on our roadways will understand the consequences of what they are doing. It may seem innocent enough, but they are actually inflicting a lot of damage to cars on our roadways and making our streets unsafe.

Now that the police understand what is really going on with these paint spills, they will aggressively investigate these cases as felony crimes. Citizens who observe these acts should be sure to report them to the police immediately and pass along as much information about the suspect, suspect's vehicle and other occupants as possible.

The best resolution to this problem, of course, is that the vandals stop on their own, knowing the damage and dangers they are causing.