Drop in graffiti and vandalism cases

Drop in graffiti and vandalism cases »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wa. -- Graffiti and other cases of vandalism are slowing down in Yakima. KIMA Crime Tracker checked police records and found a 40 percent drop over the last four months. Action News spoke with neighbors who are skeptical that people just aren't calling police.

Anyone who has had to deal with tagging or any other malicious crime knows it can be stressful.

"I was upset and angry and confused," said Quentin-Lamar Corbrey.

He got his home tagged three weeks ago.

"It was the whole north-face of the garage was basically covered," said Corbrey.

Corbrey’s story is not as common anymore according to YPD. Action News pulled the numbers and found over the last four months lower level property crimes like graffiti, broken windows and other mischief continued to drop. They fell from 151 incidents in March down to 94 so far this month; a 40 percent drop.

Not everyone is buying it. Shop owner Gary Oliver thinks it's rising. He said he still sees it, only he stopped calling the police.

"I haven't been calling the police like I normally do,” said Corbrey. “So, there is probably several calls a week that are not on your stats,” Oliver said.

Oliver does what he can to protect his business. He built extra storage to keep his customers' cars safe.
Still, it's hard to assure them when they see the neighborhood.

"Your car will be safe you'll be safe while you're here, you don't have to worry about it,” he tells his customers. “But, the odds of me seeing that customer again to actually do the repair, I really have my doubts if she'll come back.”

A decision Oliver has to live with as these small crimes continue to leave a mark on the community.

Yakima's Gang Free Initiative is trying to deal with the problem. It's working to open a community center in September with hope it will make a dent in these crimes.