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East El Paso residents voice vandalism concerns

By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- Alexander Meraz said he and his neighbors are tired of graffiti and other vandalism incidents in the Las Tierras neighborhood, near El Dorado High School. Meraz said he has seen several incidents in the last month and would like to see more police presence.

"I know it costs lots of money, but I was just asking for a couple of patrols at night because it occurs after 11 p.m.," Meraz said. "I see graffiti when I walk the kids to get the mail, when I walk them to school; it's on the brick wall now," Meraz said.

Meraz also told KFOX14 vandals tagged his neighbor's van with graffiti. That neighbor did not want to talk on camera but said the tagged van is used for a carpet cleaning business.

The El Paso Police Department has received one criminal mischief report from the street Meraz lives on within the last month, and that type of report could include graffiti or other acts of vandalism, like broken windows. The Police Department is currently investigating that case. Public Information Officer Darrel Petry said residents can request patrols through their regional command center, but officers have to do additional patrols in-between other calls.

Despite the vandalism complaints, Petry also said crime is down in the Pebble Hills region within the last year. He said police have seen about 600 fewer crimes in that area than last year, but about 5,000 crimes were still reported.

Some residents in the Las Tierras neighborhood also have plans to take safety matters into their own hands.

"We're trying to form a neighborhood watch in our neighborhood. We've already gotten the card and everything. We're just trying to find a president," Las Tierras resident Barbara Duchene said.

Meraz also said he has not called El Paso's graffiti removal division to take care of the problem, but he plans to do so. Residents can call the city's graffiti removal hotline at 915-621-6789 or click here for more information.



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