Area graffiti artists have been busy, too busy for Marshalltown businessman Lonnie Hogeland.

The well-known owner-operator of L. Hogeland Auto Plaza learned recently vandals spray-painted a number of new buildings in Le Grand mid-last week.

Hogeland acted.

He donated $200 to Marshall County Crime Stoppers.

"I want to get a handle on graffiti," Hogeland said. "It is frustrating ... someone builds new storage garages in Le Grand and vandals spray-painted them ... Marshalltown has a horrible problem with graffiti too. Perhaps my $200 will motivate others to make donations as well."

Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper, who is active with Crime Stoppers, was thrilled.

"We really appreciate Lonnie's generosity," Tupper said. "It is just another example of the great community support existing for public safety. Crime Stoppers and our K-9 program would not exist without generosity and support from the community."

Graffiti applications appear to spike in the summer but Tupper said it is a constant problem in Marshalltown.

The Third Avenue viaduct to commercial/industrial buildings to vacant properties are prime targets.

It ranges from crude obscenities to drawings to giant balloon letters in multiple colors. "This year (graffiti) has been a little bit worse than others," Tupper said. "We are trying to get on top of it ... no doubt someone in the community knows what is going on and can help us through Crime Stoppers."

Ongoing vigilance is another deterrent, said Capt. Mike Hanken of MPD.

"When one sees that they have graffiti, vandalism, or trash, correct those problems right away, so it does not worsen ... becoming an issue that one's neighbors call and report it to us as a nuisance."

He had more advice. "If residents see vandals in the act of applying graffiti, call the police immediately," Hanken said. "Don't wait to see if someone else calls it in, be the first to call."

Information can be submitted confidentially to Marshall County Crime Stoppers line by contacting 641-753-1234 (answered 24/7) texting at 274637marshall (followed by one's message) or going online at Donations to Crime Stoppers are tax deductible, and can be made to MCCS, 112 W. Church St, Marshalltown, IA 50158.

Courtesy of the Marshalltown Times-Republican. June 22, 2016



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