Residents unhappy with vandalism in Camp Washington

By Dan Wells - bio | email

CAMP WASHINGTON, OH (FOX19) - "They have no respect for private or public property."

That's how residents describe criminals who continue to vandalize one of Cincinnati's oldest neighborhoods.

Building throughout the area are full of messages, murals and graffiti. People who love this historic community say it needs to be stopped.

"Mailboxes, trucks, truck containers, industrial walls, public signs you name it," said Community Organizer Joseph Gorman.

It's a sight that makes members of the Camp Washington Community Council dizzy with anger.

"I live here. I like the neighborhood," said Bill Clark. "I've been here for years and I'm proud to call it my home."

But in recent years, taggers have begun calling the historic neighborhood home.

"There is thousand and thousands of dollars worth of damage to these properties down here, a lot of them historical buildings," said Gorman.

The Crosley building that sits right at the junction between southbound Interstate 75 and Interstate 74 is full of markings on all four floors, both inside and out.

"They usually concentrate on three tags per gang and what they do is they go and do these tags everywhere. I mean what every public or private surface they will find they'll tag it," said Gorman.

Gorman says these criminals focus on Camp Washington because of its location and vacant buildings.

"It's very convenient, and the industrial area along Spring Grove and Colerain is pretty quite in the middle of the night and that is when a lot of the taggers come out," said Gorman.

Its not just old buildings being tagged. Post boxes are being hit and new signs have the markings of criminals."

But despite all the work ahead, Clark says he and others are winning the war to improve and clean-up Camp Washington and they have a strong message for anyone that gets in their way.

"Would be taggers if we see you we're going to catch you, and if we catch you, you're going to jail," said Clark.

Police have made arrests for the incidents. Two teenagers were caught tagging in February, and they could face felony charges.