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With the intent of reducing graffiti, an Oceanside Police Department task force conducted a sting on 15 paint retailers on June 22. Six citations were issued to business owners for having open paint displays and for selling to minors.

According to Sgt. Kelan Poorman of the administrative services unit, “A juvenile decoy was sent into the store to purchase spray paint. If the spray paint display case was locked, as per California law, the decoy would attempt to have a clerk open the display. If the locker was open, the juvenile decoy would attempt to purchase the spray paint.”

The names of the retailers targeted and cited during the operation were not disclosed.

Oceanside’s “Code Enforcement Program Quarterly Report,” spanning January to March of 2009, states that, “Graffiti enforcement efforts have resulted in an approximate 63% reduction in graffiti-related cases in comparison to the same quarter last year.” The report states that 231 “Graffiti/Oceanside Eyes” issues were reported for the first quarter of 2009, while 626 issues were reported in the same quarter of 2008.

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Comments

tinastar Aug. 1, 2009 @ 5:10 p.m.

"...a waste of tax payers money to make a LEGAL product ILLEGAL to some people in the community." you mean like ALCOHOL????

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obrox July 31, 2009 @ 10:43 a.m.

Okay Pete, it sounds like you've come back down to earth a little. This post makes sense. I'm all for personal freedoms. I think like Mindy says, the parents should be held accountable more often for their childrens actions. That being said, I really don't think it's that big of a deal to buy your kid a can of spray paint. I mean, c'mon....That's your biggest concern? Go with your son to home depot, buy him the spray paint and talk to him about why it's locked up in the first place. Because his peers wreak havoc on people's property with the stuff, and then let him know how much you appreciate having a responsible kid that doesn't do those things. I'm not telling you how to talk to your own son here. I'm sure you're a great father. I'm just trying to show how a percieved negative can be turned into a positive learning experience.

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PistolPete July 31, 2009 @ 10:50 a.m.

I can respect that. I've done just that. I've also explained to him why it's wrong for government to meddle in the affairs of it's private citizens. I'm sure in a couple of years the phone calls from school will increase. I'll deal with those as they come. The greatest thing I've done for my son is to teach him to CONSTANTLY question authority. Even from me. I'll explain to him why things are right and why they are wrong and why he needs to know the consequences for wrong choices.

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ChuckMac619 July 26, 2009 @ 4:21 p.m.

Stupid pigs ...... why dont u go bust some real crimes ??? Oh yea , cuz ur lazy & steriotypical !!!

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PistolPete July 27, 2009 @ 1:15 a.m.

Only in Amerika do we read about people getting busted for selling a LEGAL product to minors. I'm not going to get into the whole graffiti debate. Gang graffiti is trash. Beautiful sidewalk murals on the otherhand aren't.

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rickeysays July 27, 2009 @ 3:26 a.m.

It's too bad we have to have a law that requires retailers to lock up their paint, to prevent juvenile (and not so juvenile) delinquints with no respect for other people's property from defacing it, but if we must then the police must enforce it.

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poff July 27, 2009 @ 7:39 a.m.

I absolutely hate graffiti but there is nothing more irritating than going to Homedepot to buy spray paint and having to hunt down an employee because the spray paint is locked up. Make the punishment for vandalism a S-load of community service. I have noticed an increase in graffiti lately but stop inconveniencing the public and fining retailers for these a-holes.

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Visduh July 27, 2009 @ 9:30 p.m.

Spray paint once was the preferred medium for the artists. Now I see various sorts of felt-tip pens and similar media used for tagging. If only I could understand what motivates these artists, it might seem clearer what could be done to prevent it.

Just in case anyone thinks that graffiti is a US problem, think again. The UK (that's England, Wales and Scotland for those who need some orientation) is covered with it. In a way, what you see there is nastier than at home. Of course, when those folks get nasty, they are nastier than cat sh__.

The continent has plenty of graffiti, especially in Germany around abandoned industrial buildings and in the former East Germany. The only country that seems to have virtually eliminated it is Austria. Recently there, in three days of traveling around, I only saw tagging once. Remarkable. What say WE ask them how they have almost banished it. (Yeah, well maybe they just cover it up sooner and better than other countries.) Not much of it in New Zealand either. Maybe a nice, calm, socialist economy? Heh, heh.

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obrox July 28, 2009 @ 3:09 p.m.

Visduh, you make a serious mistake in calling these jerks "artists."

A few facts about the real cost of graffiti in our neighborhoods:

Graffiti sends the signal that nobody cares, attracting other forms of ("real") crime and street delinquency to the neighborhood.

Graffiti drains tax dollars. Funds that could be used for schools, roads, parks, and other community improvements, are used for graffiti clean up. Cities like San Fransisco spend upwards of $6million a year on clean up. San Diego probably isn't far behind.

Graffiti decreases a resident's feeling of safety. Neighborhoods with graffiti see a decrease in property values, loss of business growth and tourism.

The next time any of you don't feel like graffiti is a real crime, or want to whine about having to find a clerk to unlock spray paint for you, feel free to come out with me any day of the week to help clean up after the mess that these stupid kids leave in our neighborhoods. Then you can complain all you want.

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PistolPete July 28, 2009 @ 9:48 p.m.

Why not just leave it? You KNOW they're just going to come back. And graffiti hardly ties up important tax dollars that could be used for education,etc. If this county was so worried about a lack of funds for schools and libraries,they'd quit trying to sue to stop cannabis dipensaries and marijuana IDs.

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rickeysays July 29, 2009 @ 1:36 a.m.

Way to compare apples and oranges, Pete. You should re-read obrox's post. You didn't process it the first time.

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obrox July 29, 2009 @ 9:25 a.m.

Yeah, I'm not sure what dispensaries have to do with the graffiti problem, but I do agree with you on that note. However, Graffiti DEFINITELY uses taxpayer funds to get rid of. The city has to come out daily to clean off street signs, bridge over passes, etc... This is CITY money! Our Money! And it takes a lot of it. Leaving it there only excacerbates the problem. The sooner it is painted out, the chances of reoccuring in that same area decrease greatly. I know this from personal experience. The longer you let it stay up, the more it sends a message that graffiti is tolerated in that area. Then all hell breaks loose. An area that is tagged all over sends a signal that nobody cares. You can deal drugs there, write all over the walls, throw your trash on the ground, do whatever you want because nobody is watching or caring. I don't want that crap in my neighborhood. Sorry, it's gotta go.

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PistolPete July 29, 2009 @ 9:36 a.m.

There's always the option of shooting them on sight. Oh wait! The liberals don't believe in street justice. We might shoot some Obama voters. I think it's a waste of taxpayer money to make a LEGAL product ILLEGAL to some people in the community. Way to punish the majority to take care of a minority. Oh s--t. There I go again. My mistake for thinking this was a free country.

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Duhbya July 29, 2009 @ 10:19 a.m.

Post # 10. PP, this is the most out there post I've seen from you. Pure gibberish. I think you'll find that it's not just "liberals" who don't buy into "street justice". It's nearly all rational citizens. But you go ahead, take matters into your own hands, and prove that you're not just mouthing off. Enjoy your lengthy incarceration in the aftermath. Or were you indeed just mouthing off? As you said, there you go again.

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obrox July 29, 2009 @ 11:19 a.m.

Oh, I get it. Pistol Pete's a whack job. My mistake for attempting to engage in rational conversation. I'm not used to the personalities on this board. I'm out. Good luck to anyone else who wants to put an end to graffiti in their neighborhood!

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danbo59 July 29, 2009 @ 12:15 p.m.

Just another excuse for the Oceanside police to practice their "God Complex" on innocent citizens... The criminals dont have enough money, or show enough fear anymore.

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obrox July 29, 2009 @ 2:07 p.m.

You make a good point danbo, God hates graffiti and will punish all who tag and deface propery with eternal damnation...it has been written.

Actually, you don't make any sense either. Do you know Pistol Pete? You guys should go bowling together or something.

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Josh Board July 29, 2009 @ 4:10 p.m.

Anyone remember the Handyman chain that was out here? My friends mother worked part time there when I was a kid, and there was talk about making things like small screen, and these metal tubes, locked up. Because, kids were buying them to make pipes to smoke pot out of. I don't think they ever did, though. They just had a memo that said not to sell those products to kids or something.

I think anyone with a brain, realizes graffiti isn't "art". Obviously, someone like Banksy, is different. Although, that's a fine line, as he's sometimes painted on buildings and they've been ticked off by it. And he's gotten rich from doing that style of "graffiti".

I once debated a woman about it. She talked about the different styles of graffiti and the artist nature involved. I asked her if she owned a business, and worked hard running that business...how would she feel if they painted on the side of that business. She immediately saw my point.

I would love it if the cops handled the kids spray painting, the way Sean Penn did in the movie Colors. He simply grabbed the can out of their hands, and spray painted them in the face.

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PistolPete July 30, 2009 @ 11:11 a.m.

So if my son wants to paint his bicycle frame,it's fair for him to have to ask me to buy it for him because of a few bad apples? It's just like the ratings system for video games. My son is 12. If he wants any of the GTAs,he'll find a way to bypass the system altogether. I'm anti-age restriction on anything. I look at the issue as a fundemental freedom issue like most major European countries do. It's a parent's responsibility to keep an eye on their children.

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