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Graffiti resurgence troubles Plantation

Called time-consuming and a nuisance, the vandalism doesn't appear to be the work of gangs, subdivision officials say.

By TIM GRANT, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 28, 2003

CARROLLWOOD -- It's a problem that comes and goes in Plantation, and right now it's coming.

Graffiti, that is.

The good news this time is that it does not appear to be gang-related, says Tom Jones, Plantation's property manager.

"This is the work of a few kids with a spray can and nothing else to do," Jones said. "It's not what you would associate with gang graffiti. It's just silliness."

For example: On a pathway in the common area, someone spray-painted the words: "I will not be for a terrorist endorser." The word "Buying" was sprayed on a red stop sign at Ravensdale and Springridge.

Jones said most of it, however, consists of profanities, and workers are painting over the vandalism as fast as it shows up.

"It doesn't cost much," Jones said. "But it's time-consuming. It's a nuisance."

All of the graffiti, Jones said, is done right in the open so it's only a matter of time before the culprits are caught. When they are, they'll be turned over to the Sheriff's Office for prosecution.

Brian Pille, a community resource deputy in Plantation, said the Sheriff's Office has a paint detail that requires juveniles who are caught committing vandalism to paint over graffiti others have written.

Pille said there have been more than a dozen incidents in Plantation since the beginning of February.

"We're asking the community to help us out," Pille said. "We have deputies on patrol looking out for suspicious activity and also Plantation has the courtesy patrol."

This is not the first time graffiti has been a problem in Plantation.

In the early 1990s, a group of juveniles who called themselves the P-Town Posse and rival gangs from Logan Gate and Town 'N Country marked their turf in the community through the use of graffiti.

These youngsters were not part of the infamous national gangs like the Crips and the Bloods. Jones said they eventually dissipated and left the community.

"The sheriff's deputies called them 'Wannabes,' " Jones said.

-- Tim Grant can be reached at (813) 269-5311 or at .

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