Graffiti a Problem for Businesses

D.J. Colbert, owner of Prosperity Corner
D.J. Colbert, owner of Prosperity Corner

(KHNL) - The staff at Azteca focuses on customers hungry for Mexican food and tries to ignore the graffiti by the front door.

"Sometimes we don't want trouble, you know. We go straight in, we don't call police," said restaurant owner Sarah Sanchez.

Buildings all around Waialae Avenue show marks of spray paint or mis-matched attempts to cover up graffiti.

"Any, any white buildings left they're going to hit. And it's getting worse," D.J. Colbert, owner of Prosperity Corner.

A colorful mural of a dragon has kept Colbert's shop tag-free, but she may add a vinyl coating to make clean-up easier, just in case.

"This was about six thousand dollars to put on the wall. And the taggers have been respectful of it. We haven't had anybody tag it."

Honolulu Police arrested two vandals earlier this week but some worry say that could encourage others.

"I think that part of the allure is risk involved in doing it," said shop owner Wendy Schofield-Ching. "I would like to see the police enforcing the law though so we can encourage them to funnel their creative energy elsewhere."

Colbert said if law enforcement really wants to crack down on graffiti, "more needs to be done."

"If they prosecute," Colbert said. "Arresting is one thing, but what kind of penalties are going to come down from this."