Billings Heights residents frustrated after vandals tag areas with graffiti

BILLINGS — Several areas in the Billings Heights were tagged with graffiti over the weekend, leaving residents frustrated.

“I’m suspecting these doors were locked each time, otherwise they would have went inside and spray painted them,” said Adam Hummel at Lake Elmo State Park on Monday.

Hummel couldn’t believe his eyes when he was out and about in the Heights on Saturday.

“It disappoints me anytime I see it,” Hummel said.

Vandals sprayed a trail of graffiti alongside Lake Elmo Drive, targeting multiple places along the way.

“Then we started to notice it was actually at the City Church of Billings too. Then we started to see these themes and we just kept going down Lake Elmo, and sure enough, they hit the park,” said Hummel.

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He immediately sent photos to Billings Code Enforcement, who checked out the graffiti on Monday.

“To use the term surprised, maybe over the past two to three years I would say, okay this has been a trend, but this is never going to be acceptable,” Hummel said.

Hummel grew up in the Billings Heights so crimes like this hit close to home.

“I think the longer these things linger, it’s going to create people’s perception that this is acceptable,” said Hummel.

It’s a sentiment shared by Mikle Yoh, who visits the area regularly with her family.

She noticed the graffiti on the retaining wall while driving along Lake Elmo Drive. Just down the street on Jerrie Lane, a semi was also tagged.

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“It was just very disappointing to see all the graffiti all the way up. It just makes you feel like you’re coming into a rough side of town, you know, which is unfortunate,” Yoh said.

Yoh said it creates an added stress for parents trying to enjoy the park with their families.

“And it makes me feel like I need to take closer attention to my kids when they’re at the park or going to the bathroom for example,” said Yoh.

As for Hummel, he hopes others will speak out if the vandalism continues.

“If you see it, report it, and then we can have it addressed. Don’t let things kinds of things linger, ‘cuz the longer they linger, the more we’ll see of it,” Hummel said.

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