How Richmond neighbors are trying to catch vandals: ‘This is not art’

RICHMOND, Va. – Some people who live in Richmond’s historic Fan District are are banding together in hopes of catching the culprits responsible for a recent vandalism spree that saw at least 20 spots targeted.

Neighbors like David Morrison, who is leading the charge of residents calling for accountability, said what takes minutes to create has cost neighbors hours trying to remove it.

David Morrison
David Morrison

“This is one of the interior places that they tagged,” Morrison explained, pointing to the remnants of white paint on a brick wall. “You can see someone tried to wash this off.”

Morrison discovered the graffiti when he woke up Friday, May 5. His fence was tagged and he later learned 20 other spots in a small radius of the Fan were also tagged.

“This isn’t art,” Morrison said. “This is just vandalism. This is just people marking things.”

Fan Vandalism

As his frustration mounted, Morrison began working with his neighbors to collect evidence.

That is when he discovered many of the acts were caught on camera over just an hour.

“The video footage that we have, had them pulling stopping here. You can see the car, you can see them get out,” Morrison said.

Fan Vandalism

As a result, Morrison said he created a timeline and turned that evidence over to police in hopes of helping them solve the crime.

“There are a lot of neighbors that really upset. They are willing to testify to the damage and the videos that they have gotten,” Morrison said. “They spent about five minutes spray-panting the brick wall and our fence. That’s going to take me about three days to strip and repaint.”

Fan Vandalism
Fan Vandalism

While neighbors said the vandalism is more of a pain than anything, they would like their property to be respected.

“It’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s not a tragedy,” Morrison acknowledged. “This isn’t something where they just want it cleaned up. They want some sort of reconciliation or justice.”

Neighbors hope to see more visibility from police patrolling the area to potentially catch and prevent similar crimes.

WTVR CBS 6 has reached out to Richmond Police and we will update this story when we hear back.

If you have information that could help detectives, call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or submit a tip online at The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All three Crime Stoppers methods of contact are anonymous.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email [email protected] to send a tip.

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