‘There is no art to this’: Midtown business owners become targets of graffiti vandalism

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Graffiti on several buildings throughout Midtown Kansas City is causing concern for some business owners.

The latest tagging report happened at three businesses located at 28th and Cherry streets.

“It kind of surprised me. Obviously this neighborhood is a good neighborhood. We put some money into the building. We repainted the building, and it surprises me to see the damage that was done here,” said Jason Scott, an employee at Vazquez Commercial Contracting.

Like Scott, employees at neighboring businesses were shocked to see the amount of vandalism and tagging that reportedly happened overnight.

The walls of three buildings, including MJ Fitness and Ratliff Gutter Supply, were decorated with an assortment of colors and a number of disturbing messages and words.

“It’s unfortunate, somebody just ruins this piece of property. It’s not traveled well around here, but it’s our property and we like to take care of it,” owner and personal trainer at MJ Fitness Jake Ortiz said. “There is no art to this. This is just scribble.”

Whether you call it graffiti or tags, it’s spreading through Midtown, and authorities are taking note.

“Since the protest and marches, we’ve probably had hundreds of graffiti, and on a regular basis we may see 3-10 a week, all throughout our areas,” said Stan Henry, operations manager for Midtown KC Now.

Staff at Midtown KC Now, a community improvement organization, are working daily to professionally clean up the mess and helping KCPD and the prosecutor’s office to identify who is responsible.

Business owners at 28th and Cherry filed a police report. Another business owner said they plan to install extra light or cameras to patrol the area.

Midtown KC Now said they are working on a mural program so people can legally express their creative art.

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