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Queens Chronicle

Graffiti hits vans on Sutter Avenue

Security camera catches vandals striking in the middle of the night

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Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012 10:31 am | Updated: 10:28 am, Thu Aug 30, 2012.

Tibb’s Interior and Exterior owner Tommy woke up Monday morning preparing for another week of work. Instead his week was completely derailed before he even left his office on Sutter Avenue.

His work van, parked right outside Tibb’s office at 88-06 Sutter Ave, had been defaced with graffiti. Yellow tags, including some names, were painted on the doors and on the hood.

“What makes a person think they have the right to destroy someone else’s property?” Tommy asked.

To make matters worse, it was not only his van that was hit, but also his neighbor’s van a few houses down.

Tommy immediately called the police, and officers from the 106th Precinct responded and were met with a few leads, thanks to a little modern technology.

Outside the Sutter Avenue office, Tommy had installed security cameras facing the sidewalk. They recorded the entire attack.

At least four men heading east on Sutter Avenue arrived around 3:50 a.m. on Monday morning, first striking Tommy’s van, then heading down the block, spraying his neighbor’s van about two minutes later.

“They just swarmed around his van,” Tommy said.

After finishing on that vehicle, they walked back west on Sutter Avenue, passed the security cameras in front of Tibb’s main office and vandalized Tommy’s van a second time. The camera catches them up close as they walk past. The section of sidewalk outside of the office sits under a streetlight. In one shot, one of the vandals can be seen carrying a spray can, seemingly looking at the camera. In another, one of them can be seen squatting down in front of the van’s door, spraying paint on it. They then walk away, rounding the corner down 88th Street just before 4 a.m. One man can be seen coming back to pick up a can he left behind.

The NYPD said it is investigating the incident.

“I grew up right around the block from here,” Tommy said. “I’ve never seen anything like this. Times change I guess.”

Southern Queens had been hit with a rash of graffiti vandals recently, leading some to declare war over the quality of life issue. In Woodhaven, the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association went to battle with vandals who tag mailboxes in the neighborhood, seeking to repaint every one and working to identify a pattern for repeat offenses to make it easier to catch graffiti vandals.

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