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Graffiti and vandalism reports on the rise in La Jolla

graffiti-torrey-pines-rail.jpg
The graffiti painted on a rail along Torrey Pines Road, which was reported in late June, and was still present July 15.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Multiple cases of graffiti have been reported in La Jolla in recent weeks and residents are wondering if the markings are connected to summer shenanigans or something more serious?

All in the last week of June, vandalism was reported at two locations along Torrey Pines Road, and at four locations along La Jolla Mesa Drive. Ahead of this spree, vandalism was repeatedly reported on the tarping that protects the 76 gas station excavation in progress.

On La Jolla’s main entryway, a “signature” was tagged along the exterior wall of a house that faces Torrey Pines Road at Princess Street. One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said she reported it to the City’s Get It Done app to no avail.

“It was well over six feet long and when I reported it, I mentioned that it looked like gang symbols to me, hoping that would generate a faster response, but there was still a lag,” she told the Light. “It was there for about a week before the homeowner just painted over it.”

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She added that she used to live in a community that had a task force, which came together to paint over graffiti when it occurred, and questioned whether that would be a solution La Jolla could implement.

Additional vandalism was reported on the K-rail that delineates Torrey Pines Road from its sidewalk, and has not been painted over as of press deadline. It depicts a “signature” with a note indicating someone “messed up a bit,” and an emoji.

Further, four highly visible white swastikas were painted on locations along La Jolla Mesa Drive between Skylark and Lamplight Drives. Two were on the exterior walls of houses facing La Jolla Mesa Drive, one was on the sidewalk and one was on a City “Road Construction Ahead” diamond.

All four were quickly removed by the City.

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The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) then announced a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the graffiti.

“In the wake of this abhorrent crime, we’ve been inspired by the overwhelmingly positive and supportive response from law enforcement and the community,” said Tammy Gillies, ADL San Diego Regional Director. “We are confident that those responsible for the hateful vandalism will be brought to justice, and we hope that by offering this reward, someone with critical information for investigators will be motivated to speak out.”

La Jolla Shores Association trustee Joe Dicks, who saw the anti-Semitic graffiti, said: “I’m upset that the San Diego Police Department does not investigate that kind of vandalism as a hate crime or threats, which it clearly is. This is a message of hate. It can happen in any community and I am really ticked off about it.” La Jolla Shores Association trustees agreed to bring it up at a future meeting, when police were present and could respond. San Diego Police did not respond to the Light’s inquiries by deadline.


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