Beloved Desert Hot Springs Mural Vandalized

Beloved Desert Hot Springs Mural Vandalized

Martín Di Felice

Desert Hot Springs, CA

Graffiti on a mural in Desert Hot Springs has residents there angry about the destruction of a city landmark.

"Vandalism stays pretty consistent throughout the years. It’s kind of a crime of opportunity," said Desert Hot Springs Police Detective Christopher Saucier.

Graffiti in Desert Hot Springs is normally removed quickly by the graffiti removal team. This time however, it’s going to take longer since the building owner will need to pay $1,000 dollars to hire an artist to redo the mural.

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"Even in Palm Springs you’re going to see it. Everywhere you go, Cathedral City, it doesn’t matter where you’re going, you’re going to see it," said Desert Hot Springs resident Jo Ann Styles.

Police say there are two different types of graffiti. One is the so called "street artist." 

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"There are people that fro lack of a better word do graffiti recreationally I guess. They want to express their artistic abilities," said Saucier.

The other type of graffiti is gang related and territorial.

"They use graffiti to mark their territory or to send messages out to other gangs and to generally claim their turf," Saucier said.

In this particular case you can tell the graffiti is gang related and territorial because the original black tagging was crossed out with brown spray paint. That is a sign of disrespect among gangs. If it escalates, it can get serious.

"Sometimes there’s violence that erupts because of that kind of thing," Saucier said. "Gang violence, shootings, stabbings, altercations."