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Vandals strike downtown business properties

 

Posted 6/30/15 (Tue)

Vandals strike downtown business properties

By Nicky Ouellet
A handful of Main Street businesses in Tioga received unwanted paint jobs early Thursday morning.
Graffiti was sprayed in black, orange and silver on the outer cinderblock walls of Mr. Tire, Tioga Drug, Jafco Inc.’s paint warehouse and another privately owned building in the alleyway west of Main Street.
Dumpsters lining the alley were also marked with the same signature and symbol, which are often called “street tags.” It is unknown if the markings reference drugs or gang affiliation.
Regardless, business owners were shocked by the widespread vandalism.
“It’s a nuisance, I’d say,” said Don Freborg, who owns the Jafco warehouse. “But I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.”
Freborg spent the afternoon on Thursday painting over the graffiti, which included obscene imagery.
Tim Joyce was working at Tioga Drug until 1:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. He believes the tagging occurred after he left.
Lil’s Diner was left unmarked except for a signature on an old dumpster. The marking was there when employees began shifts at the restaurant at 4:30 a.m.
Police were alerted of the incident around 6 a.m. Thursday and are following leads as part of an ongoing investigation. 
Officer Jackie Halonen described the scene as “quite extensive damage to the commercial buildings just west of Main.”
This incident comes in the wake of a recent wave of vandalism in Tioga. City parks were the targets of graffiti and destruction of property this past May and October of last year.
Police characterized Thursday’s incident as more extensive than past incidents, but did not describe this type of vandalism as a persistent problem.
Freborg, who only painted Jafco Inc.’s walls last year, is ready if it does.
“Now it’ll be a cat and mouse game,” he said. “It’s okay though, I have lots more paint.”
Nearly all of the graffiti was painted over by close of business on Thursday.
“They won’t be able to have the satisfaction of seeing their work,” said Joyce.