Graffiti Bust

Most the graffiti in downtown Rockford isn't gang related at all. It’s what police refer to as hi-hop graffiti. Two street crews, the “Trend Setters” and CDB, or “Crush Burn Destroy,” could be responsible for up to 75 percent of this type of graffiti. Three men involved in both groups were arrested Thursday, August 3.

Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson says these men have no other typical gang relation

“Hip hop (graffiti) is from not your traditional type of gang members. It’s people that are putting murals up destroying property, also doing acid etching on windows and glass, so that’s your hip hop, more for fun.”

But the fun they had could now turn into serious jail time. All three men face one to three years in the Department of Corrections up to 120 hours of public service and $500 to $25,000 in fines. In addition to the fines, they could also be responsible for paying for the cleanup.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey says there is another cost the vandals won’t be able to repay.

“That’s the cost to a community when you have massive amounts of graffiti that we have unfortunately suffered. That’s the cost that sends the message; we may not be the right place to invest.”

The three weeks Rockford Police invested in tracking the vandals has paid off with three men brought up on charges, but the investigation is still underway. The police vow to keep making arrests until the city is graffiti free.