Graffiti plagues the city of Rochelle

ROCHELLE, Ill. (WIFR) - Several garages and buildings in Rochelle are covered in graffiti but city leaders are taking action to put an end to this problem.

"It has definitely increased this year," said Rochelle Chief of Police Eric Higby.

The city of Rochelle hasn't seen this much graffiti in several years and Higby believes most of the vandalism is gang-related.

"But either way, you are talking about property owners who have to clean it up or we have to assist in cleaning it up and it’s criminal damage to their property," Higby said.

Police are looking for the community's help in catching the suspects.

"If someone sees them doing that they can call into us and we can try and catch them in the act. It is not really easy to track it down after the fact,” Higby said.

So far 27 vandalisms have been reported the police department.

"We have so many great things going on here so it's disappointing to see someone destroying property that doesn't belong to them,” said Rochelle Marketing Director Jenny Thompson.

Thompson created a Facebook post about the graffiti problem and she was surprised by the community’s feedback.

"The number of supportive comments that we had where people were really frustrated with the graffiti and have enjoyed the improvements that we made and don't want to see that go away,” Thompson said.

The Rochelle High School interact club is also doing its part in removing the vandalism.

"We are supplying the paint and supplies and they will go out and paint over it,” Thompson said.

"We can't really do our job without community support we need them to call we need them to help and it's fantastic to have that support," Higby said.

If you see graffiti anywhere around town police ask that you call and report it.