Local

Northwest Fresno businesses battling vandalism

Friday, June 15, 2012

Businesses in Northwest Fresno are being marked up by vandals, but their crimes have been caught on camera.

"They don't scare from anything. They stand in front of the camera and do it. We can see their face clear," salon owner Sukhjiwan Athwal told Action News.

One example of such surveillance video was recorded around 10 p.m. Thursday. In it can see a group of young people walk toward the front door of the Starlight Beauty Salon.

Most of them watch as one guy stops and appears to write something on the glass.

"This area is getting worse and worse. I don't want to see anybody hurting this area," Athwal said.

Athwal owns the salon. She noticed tagging outside her business Friday morning and found the video shortly after.

"It makes me really upset, we don't do anything wrong to anybody. We just work hard," Athwal said.

The small marking may not look like much but Athwal isn't a first-time victim.

Security footage from March showed several masked people throwing rocks at the salon's front door. The glass cracked but didn't shatter.

"It's not only me, but it's all the neighborhood," Athwal said. The restaurant next door was also tagged. Several months back its front window was shattered and a TV was stolen from inside.

Fresno Police Lt. Burke Farrah says tagging is no small crime. Often the scribbles are the marks of tagging crews which have a history of violence in Fresno.

"It's nothing to be taken lightly. The best thing we can do is just paint it out as quickly as possible. That prevents people from being slighted or another tagging crew crossing out their tag. Those kinds of things can escalate the situation," Lt. Farrah said.

As for Athwal, she thinks the people in the video are teens from the neighborhood and she hopes their parents see the video.

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fresno, fresno county, fresno northwest, crimetracker, local, rick montanez
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