One of the most frustrating events for property owners is finding any type of vandalism on their property. When you operate a business or household, you don’t want to fuss with paint, debris, or destruction.
While you can see vandalism in many forms, some appear most frequently. Things such as spray paint graffiti and other types of property damage keeps you on your toes.
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How can you tell if graffiti is vandalism or if it’s art? The answer is whether or not someone paid for it. If they didn’t, it’s usually considered a “tag.”
Tags are often nothing more than a stylized signature, denoting a graffiti sprayer nearby. When there are multiple tags in one spot, it signifies how many have joined along. Graffiti is street-based art, and these criminal artists become highly territorial. Unfortunately, that means your business could get caught in the crossfire when there are turf disputes.
If not handled quickly, your entire block could breakout in messy spray-painted lettering. It’s best to have it removed as soon as you discover it to prevent others joining in.
Property damage is pretty self-explanatory, but it can take on many different forms. Sometimes, no matter how well you prepare a store, it still gets trashed. Without warning, you don’t have time to prepare barricades or board up windows. By the time a riot breaks out, your property sees extensive harm and possibly looting.
Property damage isn’t only from outside forces, but it can happen from ignored maintenance items as well. According to the law, it can include negligence or acts of nature. Imagine a business with a fleet of vehicles harmed by improperly stored fuel tanks. You can try to avoid property damage by staying prepared and aware of current events.
Street Signs and Billboards
Street signs and billboards will almost always happen in tandem with the other two. They are excellent targets for various types of vandalism like graffiti, vehicles, and unruly crowds. If a street name sounds funny or is vulgar enough, they will most likely be stolen. The taller your billboard is, the more valuable a target it is for graffiti artists.
In Pennsylvania, the person responsible for replacing street signs is usually the local municipality. If there is a property owner, they may be liable instead. The Department of Transportation for the state also manages outdoor advertising. Contact them if you have tagged or damaged billboards or if you are missing street signs.
Have You Been Arrested for These Common Types of Vandalism?
The way that property damage cases are punished depends primarily on the cost. It can range anywhere from a summary offense to seven years in jail. Not only that, but at its highest offense, you can face fines up to $15,000. Whether it was a small spray tag or a destroyed storefront, you may be jailed right away.
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