Some changes hit downtown Evansville, and not the kind authorities would like. Graffiti pops up on several big name buildings over the last two nights. The vandals strike several places from the Ford Center to CMOE. It's a problem Evansville Police are seeing an increase in. The Ford Center has been open for about two years. Executive Director, Scott Schoenike, says it's the first major act of vandalism on the property. He says the damage is not too overbearing. Evansville Police say, it's a bigger crime than you think, with an even bigger punishment.
"It's always discouraging when someone just does idiotic damage for no reason," says Scott Schoenike. Schoenike, Executive Director of the Ford Center in downtown Evansville, says it will only take a little elbow grease to clean off an electrical box and some stones. "Just disappointing than visual."
Who's behind the paint? Over the last two nights someone was very busy tagging places from the Children's Museum, the former McCurdy Hotel and River House, to an auto body repair shop, and the Shriner's building. "It's not just necessarily good that we are the only building, but it's good to know, at least, we aren't targeted," says Schoenike.
It's not something the city wants to be known for, especially in light of an important out of town visitor. "We had the mayor of Fort Wayne. That would be embarrassing for other people to see." There is a positive behind the paint, the community's supportive feedback. "We actually had a number of businesses close by us that called us in. It shows they care about us and how the building looks," says Schoenike.
Evansville Police Officer, Nick Sandullo, says it's a serious crime. Vandals can face up to a year in jail depending on the damages. "Some people may view this as, it may make them scared. It may make them think crime takes place down here," says Sandullo. He says the best way to deal with this problem, get rid of it. "If they get the satisfaction of, i've tagged a high profile place, that's why removing it is the best thing, because it takes that notoriety away from them," says Sandullo.
Some call it art, some call it vandalism, either way the paint has not stood in the Ford Center's way. "Fix it up, and get ready for our next show. Get ready for our basketball and hockey season coming up soon."
Some of the acts were caught on surveillance. Evansville Police say they still need the public to be their eyes and ears to help catch the vandals, however, officials believe the people who made these markings are related to the ones they have discovered in the past.