Troubling Vandalism Leaves Dunbar Neighbors On Edge

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

DUNBAR, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Profane symbols painted on buildings has plagued neighbors in Dunbar leaving them feeling threatened.

Lisa Groves stepped outside her Dunbar home this weekend to a sight that continues to haunt her.

Profane symbols were left spray-painted onto the side of a nearby garage on 16th Street - some of them referencing the KKK.

"I don't know whether it's gang-related or what, but it makes me sad with four black families living right beside this building," she said.

The word "dice" was also seen - a tag that surfaced in a rash of Charleston graffiti last fall. Police say that part was likely left over - but the rest was fresh.

They don't see it as a threat to the neighborhood, but Groves disagrees.

"I'm wondering why anyone would do this to the neighborhood and the city," she said.

Police say that section of Dunbar is no stranger to other crimes and even drugs, leaving neighbors fed up.

"It seems to me that people just don't care...they do anything they want around here," Robert Ballard said.

Ed Smith has lived on 16th Street for 50 years, and says he watched the transformation unfold over the years.

"It's nothing like it used to be," he said. "There are drugs and kids running up and down the alleys at all hours of the night."

Groves says she just wants to feel safe again and see the vandals off the streets.

"We need to pray for this person," she said. "Maybe they're sick or lost or need some kind of direction."

Dunbar Police kicked off a neighborhood crime watch program this weekend in Ward 3, which includes 16th Street.

Neighbors tell they're eager to get involved and do what they can to clean up the community.

The first meeting will be held March 23 at 3 p.m. at the police station.

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