Local

Gang-related graffiti mars new homes

Grafitti on the door of an apartment at Constitution Park Friday.
Grafitti on the door of an apartment at Constitution Park Friday.

Vandals marred a new townhouse off Rock Hill's Constitution Boulevard with green and black gang-related taggings, officials said.

The home in Constitution Park, a new townhouse community, was vandalized earlier this week. Freshly painted walls, doors, faucets and an area above a fireplace in the two-story, three-bedroom home were marred with the words "Blood Stone Villans," "B^539," Eastside," and "Piru," according to a Rock Hill Police Department report. The walls also were littered with profanities.

Lt. Jerry Waldrop said the defacing is not the work of multiple gangs.

"Most gangs do not cross tag," Waldrop said. "They don't go from one gang (symbol) to another, because it would be a violation."

This year, 50 Rock Hill structures, including street signs, bridges and buildings, were defaced with gang-related taggings, Waldrop said. The latest occurred Wednesday or Thursday when someone broke into the 1,400-square-foot townhouse at 1069 Constitution Parkway.

"They forced open a sliding glass door," said Linda Muse, property manager.

A hallway leading to the second floor was marred with gang-related taggings, according to a police report. The bottom of a kitchen counter, a nearby two-door refrigerator and wall also were littered with gang taggings.

The suspects tagged a back door and some of the siding, the report notes, and left markings near some trash dumpsters. Damages are estimated at $20,000, the report notes.

The property and two others in Constitution Parkway are owned by Gerald Stauffer, who could not be reached for comment.

Muse hopes cleanup will start next week; however, the insurance company will not cover the damages, she said.

"People think property owners are rich, but they destroyed the property of a young couple with young children, trying to survive just like the rest of us," Muse said. "It's just a shame how people will destroy property just for the sake of destroying."

Jammal Smith and Scott Draughn live doors away from the defaced townhouse. "It's surprising to see graffiti, being that this is a quiet neighborhood," said Draughn, a 20-year-old senior in sports management at Winthrop University.

Smith also was surprised.

"They vandalized the whole place, from the backyard to the kitchen," said Smith, a junior mass communication major at Winthrop. "It's shocking because it happened so fast. Everybody is usually home. It just slipped right pass us."

Added Smith: "It will cause me to be more aware of my surroundings."

Muse was concerned that the vandalism could potentially cause others not to consider the community as a future home, but Smith and Draughn do not plan to move.

No arrests have been made. Anyone with details should call the Rock Hill Police Department at 329-7200 or CrimeStoppers of York County at 1-877-409-4321.

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