ELKO — Richard Robinson had already settled in at work Tuesday morning when his neighbor called to tell him there was graffiti covering his new vinyl fence at home.
He left work and went home to survey the damage.
The fence that surrounds his 12th Street property was covered in tags that vary from names to cloud-like doodles.
The spray paint covered his fence panels, his garage door and his gate.
“I just put this white vinyl fence in,” Robinson said. “Insurance will cover the repair, but this is a problem.”
Robinson is right.
In the last week, police have also responded to graffiti vandalism at Faith Lutheran Church, Elko Motel, Clack Automotive, as well as various business signs and power boxes around the city, according to Elko Police Lt. Ty Trouten.
Taggers also hit Bair Distributing Monday night or early Tuesday morning, covering four trucks and their building with designs in red, gold and blue.
Co-owner Loni Bair estimates the taggers caused between $10,000 and $15,000 in damage.
“Personally it just makes me mad,” Bair said. “It causes a lot of trouble.”
Other small business owners in town are facing the cost and labor of removing the marks from their buildings.
Clack Automotive owner John Clack spent hours scrubbing his building with a steam cleaner and chemicals to get the graffiti off his stucco siding.
The 3-foot by 4-foot markings on the back of his business are still visible from Court Street.
“It’s discouraging when you see someone who has so little respect for someone else’s property,” Clack said. “It’s a total disregard for someone having to get that off. It’s disheartening.”
Clack’s building may still require some stucco repair.
As for Bair, he hasn’t tried to remove any of the markings, yet.
The taggers hit his company’s 48-foot trailer, a 12-foot box truck, a 28-foot box truck and a Peterbilt truck, as well as the side of the red building.
Bair thinks a few of the trucks will have to be repainted completely.
“They ruined the paint jobs on the shorter box van and on the Peterbilt,” he said. “We’ll have to talk to insurance.”
Bair said the company hasn’t had any issues with vandalism in the past, aside from a few minor incidents.
Robinson, on the other hand, has had issues before. He’s hoping police will step up patrols.
“My house was the worst of my neighbors,” Robinson said. “We need to get this (graffiti) slowed down.”
Trouten urged residents to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.
“People should be aware of anyone walking around who looks like they’re not supposed to be there or they’re not doing anything,” Trouten said. “Anything that looks out of the ordinary.”