If the words or symbols sprayed on the sign can’t be removed, then a new sign has to be made, Hunter said. That’s where the bigger dollars come in.
Right now, there are several stop signs on the north side of Grand Haven that have the word “police” spray-painted on them.
“Unless the graffiti is vulgar, we won’t go out there and pull them,” Hunter said. That’s why many vandalized signs can still be seen around the area.
Hunter said directional signs will often be sprayed or have stickers put on them. Buildings at playgrounds are hit regularly, as is the rocket climbing structure by the 1223 train at Chinook Pier, he said.
Recent targets have been the lighthouse on the south pier, the City Hall annex, the Board of Light & Power diesel plant and some interpretive signs at the 1223 train.
City Department of Public Works crews have a special cleaner to remove graffiti, but how well it works depends on the media used and the surface sprayed, Hunter said.
Lt. Renee Freeman of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety said they are actively pursuing leads on anyone doing the graffiti.
“It’s considered malicious destruction of property,” she said. “Depending on the amount of damage would determine the fines or punishment.”
Freeman said if the dollar amount was high enough, the suspect could be charged with a felony.
“It doesn’t appear that it’s all one person and it’s not any gangs,” she said. “It’s spur of the moment, poor decision-making — and it’s vandalism, pure and simple.”
Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to call GHDPS at 842-3460 or Silent Observer at 877-88 SILENT.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.