Sheriff's Department: Graffiti not gang related

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) – In Batesville the writing is literally on the walls.  Now police want to know who put it there.  Police say someone is painting the same two or three symbols on businesses, dumpster's, even stop signs!  While some say the graffiti is disturbing police do not believe it's a "sign" of gang activity!

"What caught my eye first was just the 'SUR 13'," said Independence County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Thatch.

Deputy Thatch said this is not your typical graffiti.

"I've seen I believe it's demon on more than one spelled weird.  It's the best I can come up with," said Thatch.

Most of the graffiti is being found on the back and side of older buildings.

"It's like anywhere there's always graffiti.  I haven't seen it quite this much in one area," said Thatch.

Thatch spotted this graffiti on the back of the old Wal-Mart building in Batesville earlier this week.

"It's pretty much 'SUR 13' or Southside which goes along with the 'SUR 13'," said Thatch.

Thatch said most of the graffiti can be tracked back to an actual gang but some inaccuracies in the tagging is leading deputies to believe it's not gang activity.

"This is in black and from everything I can see on the 'SUR 13' or the Surenos or southerners, which is where a lot of times you'll see the Southside come in.  Their main color is blue," said Thatch.

Thatch said 'SUR 13' is a tag used by a Mexican American gang.

"I'm concerned over the fact that our buildings are being vandalized.  As far as gang members, no," said Thatch.

The overnight patrol officers are scanning the areas to watch out for those who might add more to this wall.

"I have some leads on the report we took the other day," said Thatch.

When caught the tagger's could be charged with criminal mischief and have to pay restitution.

"This business will have to pay to have someone come back here and paint the back of their business," said Thatch.

The tag is also being painted on stop signs, dumpster's, and other signs in town.

If you have any information about this case, contact the Independence County Sheriff's Department at 870-793-8838.

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