Graffiti found in town stirs emotions

Graffiti seen on West Woody Road in Alterra [Brian Petersheim Jr.]

Graffiti found on walls in the Alterra neighborhood is sparking emotions around the city.

A Facebook post by Irene Guajardo this morning showed photos of tagging on the walls in her community. She posted this comment on her wall: “Graffiti in Alterra this morning,” her post read. “This is what Maricopa is turning into with all the new residents moving here for cheap houses.”

Facebook user Jodi A Drew said in a post she had seen the same thing.

“My neighborhood too,” Drew posted. “I was so mad. Little creepazoids disrespecting homeowners.”

Christine Addis replied to the posts with a different perspective.

“How dare you call our community cheap houses?” Addis posted. “What, do you live in a mansion? You can go into Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, and you’ll get graffiti there too. Don’t insult the people in Maricopa that are moving here and buying homes as you call it, ‘cheap housing.’ Maybe you should move out of Maricopa where there’s not cheap housing. You’re a joke lol.”

The city is investigating the incidents, but on two separate tracks. Maricopa Police are conducting the criminal phase of the investigation. Department spokesman Sgt. Hal Koozer asked for the public’s help in identifying suspects.

“We are investigating but we don’t have any leads at this time,” Koozer said. “We are looking for help from the residents – if they have any video camera footage or any other information, we would be interested.”

Wes Moss of the City of Maricopa Code Enforcement office said that office also is looking into the incidents.

“We’ve been actively investigating for probably the past three hours at least,” Moss said. “On the code enforcement side, we’re investigating as far as responsibility for clean-up. We have notified the individual property owners. The person whose wall is tagged is responsible for the clean-up unless the HOA has control of that wall and that would be between the HOA and the property owner. It would be case by case depending upon where the property is located.”

Graffiti like this has been found in multiple Maricopa neighborhoods in recent days, the uptick in vandalism is sparking emotions among residents. [Irene Guagardo]
That prompted a pair of replies from Guajardo.

“Yep, cheap houses, what would be any other reason someone would want to move here?” Guajardo posted.

Guajardo added another post moments later. “New resident crime wave, it’s easy to see the connection, denying it is not going to fix it.”