Graffiti in Belvidere

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Jayne Engelsen is the manager at Dodge Lanes in Belvidere. She says about every six months...taggers strike her bowling ally...defacing the outside back wall. "We usually get our customers that alert us that our building has been tagged and we get out and try to paint over it," Engelsen said. But there's hope for fewer paint jobs for Engelsen and other businesses in Belvidere....thanks to some good samartitans in the community. "We're blessed by a large group of townspeople that have taken an active interest in what's going on," Noble said. He says more and more residents are calling in with tips about tagging. In the last month, they've led to five arrests. Some are even catching vandals on the spot. "The fact that they made that call and gave us the location of when the crime is occuring has been extremely important," the Chief said. Noble says having this extra set of eyes, outside of the squad car, hasn't always been there. "We have made some successful inroads in re-establising the trust from our community...such trust may not have been there before." But he feels that trust is solid now....and is contributing to those behind this getting caught. It's all welcome news for grafitti victims like Engelsen. "I feel its great and hopefully it will bring an end to all this." Noble also says offering citizen policing activities is drawing interest to help out. In the coming weeks, volunteers will be hitting the streets for late-night patrols in areas known for graffiti vandals.