Bend sees spike in graffiti vandalism

Targets range from utility boxes to fences

New graffiti popping up in Bend

BEND, Ore. - Residents of southwest Bend are noticing an addition to their neighborhood, and it's not a welcome one. It's a new rash of graffiti, much of which appears to have been the work of the same vandal.

Bend police said over the last two weeks, they've seen a huge spike in graffiti reports, compared to last spring.

One resident who had some of his property vandalized just finished cleaning most of it.

"It was extremely hard and extremely difficult," Roger Bigler said Tuesday. "It took me almost -- I would say probably two or three hours to wipe it down and clean with acetone."

He said it was shocking to see his fence, which he had just built, vandalized like that.

"To find it in your own neighborhood or your home is amazing," he said. "I mean, I couldn't even believe that somebody would do something like that."

But that's not all the places that particular tag has been seen. Another Bend resident mapped out the places the graffiti artist has hit.

The map stretched from Powers Road west of the Brookswood Boulevard roundabout to the outlet mall on the other side of Highway 97 and even down into the Walmart parking lot.

Her main concern, though, is for her neighbors. She requested anonymity.

"I'm heartbroken for the homeowners, especially the gentleman with the brand new fence," she said.

Graffiti in many cases is seen as art, but these pieces aren't receiving rave reviews from the audience.

"This is not creativity," Bigler said. "This is wanton and willful destruction of private property."

So what happens when the vandal is caught?

"The punishment, I would say, is not to simply be fined or prosecuted in some way, but put to work for a few weeks to a few years of cleaning up the neighborhood," Bigler said.

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