Silver Lake street cleans up after tagging binge

A section of Griffith Park Boulevard look like a charity car wash this morning as Silver Lake residents cleaned and washed cars and trucks after vandals had  tagged at least a dozen vehicles and garage doors overnight.  Residents walked around with paint rollers and traded tips on paint removers as they cleaned up the mess left along the east side of Griffith Park Boulevard near Scotland Street, where lines and squiggles of white paint had been sprayed on cars trucks parked on the street and in driveways.   “It’s like they ran down the street with a spray paint bottle,” said Jason Worrell, who was cleaning the dark windows of his Toyota 4Runner with a rag and Scratch Doctor, a scratch remover recommended by a neighbor. “Everyone … is using it.”

About 12 to 15 vehicles and a couple of garages were tagged, said Capt. William Murphy with the Northeast Division.  Most of the tagging consisted of lines and doodles painted on vehicles. But one resident who was using polishing compound to remove paint from his Prius said the names of local gangs had been scrawled on garage doors.

Some residents said they have had little if any problems with tagging or vandalism along the busy street. “This has not happened before,” said Worrell, who has lived on Griffith Park Boulevard for three years.

A few cars down from Worrell,  Ellen Wei and boyfriend Dylan Owens were scrubbing out white paint from her black Mitsubishi. The couple had been awakened by their apartment manager with news of the tagging and had spent about two hours cleaning the car. It probably would have taken even longer to remove if they had waited, said Wei. “We are lucky to have gotten to it early, ” she said.


  1. Jeez, I hate taggers.
    Brain-dead FOOLIGANS.

  2. Somebody is going to get a bat to the head if I catch them doing that to my car…

  3. Serves some of you right to knock you of your high horses welcome to our west side story adjacent to Echo Park! And the tuff guy with the bat,they were probably kids…I bet you have a nice little white car,hugh? Have a Silverlake latte,spinning your big wheels and act like struggling people don’t exist….I would take the challenge with the baseball slugger,because frankly I don’t think that guy could bust a window in a ghost town.He might wan’t to get that bat and use it wisely to teach some youth how to swing it so they might have some other things to do in our neighborhoods other than them writing on your precious cars’! Go cry a river dude!

    • “Have a Silverlake latte,spinning your big wheels and act like struggling people don’t exist….”

      What are you even talking about? You can assess all this information from the one sentence this guy made? The baseball bat comment is stupid for sure, but you just sound crazy.

    • Every word of this grammatical catastrophe is complete nonsense.

    • damn man, what a chip on your shoulder. why are you protecting vandals? hope youre not a parent

    • Well, I’d be happy to “practice” on yours…

    • Anthony,

      Why does a “struggling people” equal spray paint on my car?

    • Automobile in America,
      Chromium steel in America,
      Wire-spoke wheel in America,
      Very big deal in America!

    • Anthony, I suggest running a few laps to blow off some steam. No idea why you’re defending vandals.

    • Yeah Anthony,

      Because nothing says “high horse” like a 10 yr old Honda CRX and a white minivan!

      Nice try.

    • Anthony, I find your sentiments to be thought provoking and compelling. Do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to?

    • “welcome to our west side story adjacent” …..wtf?

      • Anthony is likely a preteen causing mischief with his Mom’s laptop. Let’s not encourage him by responding to his attention seeking troll posts.

        Sorry that all those folks had to wake up to such a mess on their cars and homes. Fools are everywhere, although it seems at times like this that the east side has a rather high concentration of them, at least of the senseless tagging variety.

    • If they were your kids I hope whoever catches them gives them two bats to the head!

  4. Go get them Beanteam, i will give you one of bats so you can have one on each hand

  5. So, so, so senseless. ENOUGH of this pointless destruction!

  6. What happened to the comment about cutting their hands off? I totally agree. Either that, or shoot them on the spot if caught in the act. There is NO PLACE for vandalism.

    • Would you please go lock, yourself up in a jail cell and throw away the key. You are VERY dangerous. Even simply making that statement will encourage others to do very wrong things! You are feeding it — you are the problem.

    • I can relate to Ruby’s outrage. Such brazen contemptible acts as this engender fierce reactions and can bring out the worst in the best of us. Does Ruby really want to mete out such a cruel and unusual punishment to the vandals? I don’t think so. Or at least I’ll hope not. But if so I’ll just be thankful for the cooler heads who gifted us with the 8th Amendment to prevent such calls for dismemberment and death from ever happening.

  7. The LAPD Northeast Area handles crime for this area. I have a favor to ask of the victims: if you have photographs of the graffiti displaying gang monikers, could you please forward them to us at noeintel@lapd.lacity.org. We will forward the information to our Gang Unit and the City Attorney’s office for aggressive action.

    Officer Scheerer
    Northeast Crime Analysis – War Room

    • Thank you.

    • Yes. That’s fantastic and thank you for that email address! Will definitely keep and employ it. This whole issue has gotten waaaay out of hand and I appreciate LAPDs efforts all the way. I heart LAPD.

    • LOL… Really?

      My garage in Highland Park has been tagged/re-tagged an average of every two weeks for the last 8 years. If I had photo documented every incidence I could have made photo flip book by now.

      One evening after the guys from across the street tagged over my garage in the middle of the night they lobbed the empty spray can at my second floor window.
      I offered LAPD officers the who and where but they took no notes, wrote no police report and did no investigation… They could not have cared less… They basically said I should move out of HP because they said it will never get better.

      BTW, I have an artistic and functional solution that could be applied to chronically tagged exterior surfaces if and where property owners might consent but ironically I suspect that it would violate some LA City ordinance against street art.

      • Sorry you had that experience Marc. And to be fair, HP does have a long way to go in terms of achieving more balance as EP and Silver Lake have. And by balance I mean the dreaded gentrification factor we (somewhat) enjoy or (tolerate) over here. It is safer in our neighborhood, to an extent. Especially when we remember that this is a large metropolis and engage our street smarts and don’t take that safety for granted. Personally, I have seen LAPD do a LOT of good and then again, sadly, they have dropped the ball, sure.

        But I stand by my comment. I get pretty tired of the cop bashing on this site -particularly in our neighborhood which has definitely improved due to community involvement and police efforts. It’s not a job I’d want and I have nothing but respect for the work they do, and count myself grateful they are there when I’ve needed them.

        Curious about your artistic and functional solution. And hope your tagging problem is addressed because to tolerate it only sends a permissive message and that is pretty scary and sad for everyone.

      • Northeast received several usable photos from the public via email. While we wish we had more of the gang monikers, we want to thank the public for helping us identify the gang responsible. The LAPD is assigning several specialized units (Gangs, SPU, Cycles, Footbeats) to work on criminal apprehension and suppression in the area.

        We are working on a community information piece on combating graffiti. The goal is to synchronize the efforts of the public and the resources of the City to stamp out this blight. Feel free to contact us with your feedback.

        Officer Scheerer
        LAPD Northeast Crime Analysis – War Room

        • Update: More of the same plus drive-by shooting.

          July 19, 2012:  Observed small tag (SOK) on my freshly repainted exterior garage wall.

          July 21, 2012 – afternoon/early evening: 

          Observed large and extensive gang tag (Dog Town) over most of my exterior garage wall

          July 22, 2012, 12:25 AM:  Awoken by the sound loud shouting/sound of a brawl coming from a party in one of the second floor rear in apartment complex across the street.  I visually observed a large party of people in their late teens and twenties spilling out onto the balcony and exterior stairway.

          12:26 AM:  I observed a marked LAPD patrol car coincidentally (I presume) drive down N Ave 57.   The officers in the vehicle drove by the location of the disturbance apparently without taking notice thus they did not stop.

          12:27 AM: I called 911 to report the disturbance.  911 was backed up and it took 2 minutes to get my report in to LA 911. 

          I was left awake for about 45 minutes and never saw or heard LAPD respond to the call.

          3:07 AM: Awoken again by sound of extremely loud rap music blaring from a vehicle followed by someone yelling “what’s up?” and then TWO GUN SHOTS FIRED.

          3:08 AM: I called 911 to report the shooting on my cell phone.  911 was backed up again and it took 2 minutes to get my report in to LA 911.

          3:12 AM: I observed two Hispanic-looking twenty-something males from the apartment across the street (the one I called about regarding a disturbance earlier/at 12:27 AM) hanging around on my side of the street immediately adjacent to my often tagged exterior garage wall.

          I could see that one of the two guys is skinny and wears his hair back in a pony-tail.   I then saw this guy with the pony-tail approach the garage wall and then I heard the sound of him tagging it with a can of spray paint.  Apparently, he was marking (HP) over the extensive tags we observed during the prior afternoon. 

          3:13 AM:  I called 911 again to report the tagger.  911 was still backed up and it took 3 minutes to complete my brief report the LA 911.

          3:14 AM: (Approximately 6 minutes after my second 911 call reporting the shooting)  LAPD officers arrived at the scene.  The guy with the pony-tail was immediately apprehended. 

          3:24 AM: I received a blocked call from an LAPD officer outside my place.  He asked me if I could see his flashlight.  I told him I was hiding in the bathroom for the duration of the call because I did not want to be heard from outside.  I live very close by and my windows were already open.  I confirmed that the guy with the pony-tail that I had seen them apprehend was in fact the same male that tagged the exterior garage wall.

          After several minutes of the officers searching the immediate presumably for shell casing (I don’t think they found anything) they brought the pony-tail guy back out of the car and had some interactions with him.  I observed the officer twice point his flashlight at the tags and my address at this point.  I hope he didn’t tip off the pony-tail guy that the 911 calls came from my address.

          The officers then released the guy with pony-tail (I wonder why) who returned to the apartment across the street and then they left.  After the officers left I could hear male voices back out on the street for some while.  I presume it was the guy with the pony-tail and associates who were at the party where earlier ruckus had occurred.  This morning I’ve observed a large Hispanic male (black T-shirt, dark camouflage cargo shorts and black flip-flops) from the apartment complex searching the ground along the street, easement and sidewalk.

          My partner and I have been left sleep deprived, fearing that we’re more exposed to potential gang retaliation, wondering what will happen next and at the same time we’re left increasingly wondering hopelessly why we bother to call the police/911 at all. 

  8. This area of Silver Lake has gotten relatively little graffiti over the years and decades. That is because of one thing that always goes on in Silver Lake: the property owners and residents get out immediately and paint over the graffiti. And so they did here, and they are to be commended.

    It makes me so irritated when I hear in other areas that the residents won’t paint it out, think the city should come and paint it out — and so it stays there for a long time. I have made this suggestion before in these threads — and people in neighborhoods other than Silver Lake have responded bitterly that they should not have to do it, the city should. Well, those neighborhoods continue to get plenty of graffiti — and the attitudes of the people there that someone else should get out and clean it up gets them what they deserve. Community pride and the willingness to take on the responsibility even though you didn’t create the problem is what makes the difference. Gee, this attitude even has us paying something like $50,000 a month to a program handled by El Centro del Pueblo to ground and paint out graffiti — and then you wonder why we don’t have money in the budget for anything else — because people won’t even paint out graffiti on their own property! No, they didn’t put it up, it is not acceptable that it went up — but they still must take on responsibility to take it down immediately.

    I note, when a gang wants to move in on a new territory, they first graffiti. If the graffiti stays up or is not crossed out, they take that as a sign that the coast is clear for them to move in and take over. Thus, if you don’t immediately paint it out, you are effectively inviting the gang in! Same for existing gangs — if their graffiti stays up, they feel that much more secure in their area.

    Take this graffiti down! And all other graffiti that goes up. Don’t push the responsibility off on someone else, or on the city. Don’t be lame. That approach will be far, far, far more effective than the baseball bat idea or the idea to cut off their hands!

    • Henry, I hear you and agree. But for what it’s worth, the city has a graffiti paint-out program in place that can and should be utilized. I’ve done both: painted tags out myself and had the city do it with a goal always of getting it done as quickly as possible:


    • Exactly right Henry. Waiting 3-5 days for the graffiti hot line to come out is too long! If people in Echo park want to help stamp out gangs, step one it to wash out their evidence and communications by painting over immediately!!!!

      Don’t forget to stir your paint well before you paint!!! It looks shitty when the tint is slightly off 🙂

    • Amen and well said. Personally, I’ve called 311 but the wait is daunting – too many days to leave this crap up. Nip it in the bud I say or make yourself vulnerable to worse than graffiti. Ugh.

  9. Pffffff, what can anyone do about this? I know, next time one of your Hispanic employees asks for a pay rise say no!!!!!!

  10. Randy your a dumbass… you act like there’s never been a black or white or even asian’s painting on the walls. your comment is so ff topic and irrelavent!

  11. Wow that sucks big time! Box cutters work well for scrapping paint off windows, acetone may work on the paint it just depends on the car you can also try meguires cleaner wax, best of luck.

  12. Bats to the head…hmm, maybe that would do it, maybe not, but feel-good tolerance of gang-bangers and knuckleheads is like inviting them to stay and enabling a serious problem to get worse. We do not risk ruining the open, creative, tolerant, free-thinking heritage of our neighborhoods by excluding criminal thugs-‘kids’ or not- from being here. SL is not a walled fortress community and should never be, so keeping it true to its spirit will be an active endeavor.

  13. BTW: a clear epoxy coating is available that leaves the surface too slick for paint- which can be cleaned off very easily. It’s not exactly cheap-but effective-perfect to protect murals, etc.

  14. I have some Graffiti Gold is that works on cars without disturbing the paint. Contact the Silver Lake NC.

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