LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Graffiti isn't a new problem in the Little Rock area. In fact, it is one downtown businesses have dealt with for years. The city said it averages around 100 reported graffiti tags on city property every year--a number that isn't necessarily growing or shrinking. But, when it comes to businesses, owners THV 11 spoke with said it's a regular problem that's left up to them to fix.
From a distance, the city of Little Rock looks like a work of art, but around every corner, you may find "art" that isn't so appealing.
"It was going to cost just under $3,000 just to paint this one side," said Tom Rigsby, showing a piece of covered graffiti stretching the length of his hauling truck.
At AV Arkansas, the vandalizing artists struck the truck just a few years back, causing such expensive damage owner Tom Rigsby said they still can't afford to fix it.
"All we did was cover up the red logo that he put on there with some white paint, but we didn't do it very well you know because it's just too much," explained Rigsby.
His neighbor Murray Haupt at Capital Automotive Inc. has the same problem, finding graffiti on his building every month or two. As for finding the culprits, he's stopped trying.
"We generally don't even report it. If I did, I'd be making police reports all the time. We just clean it up and go on about our business," said Haupt.
As for the cost to repair the damage, both businesses said they're landlords are handling that part, but depending on the size and amount, the bill runs into the thousands of dollars each time they're hit.
"It's all part of doing business. There is not much you can do about it but just clean it up when it happens," added Haupt.
Just across the street, an empty building has the evidence on the windows, a piece of art the neighbors said popped up just a few weeks ago.
"This is one of the reasons we're in this building. Now we can park inside," said Rigsby.
He now keeps his vehicles inside the building, not giving the vandals a chance to strike again. It's been nearly a year since Rigsby has been tagged, and he's crossing his fingers that the artists don't return.
"It's like displaying their artwork in a way, but to the business owner and the people that work there and stuff, it's not so much fun," explained Rigsby.
Little Rock Police told THV 11 that most of the graffiti they are finding isn't gang related. It's mostly teenagers looking to display their artwork. They said they have not seen any dramatic increase in graffiti probably because most businesses hit don't report it.
Recently, graffiti has popped up on Chester and Izard Streets near AV Arkansas and Capital Automotive tagging electrical boxes, dumpsters and the sides of buildings.