JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As this Florida East Coast railroad train creeps along the tracks, it's hard not to spot the splotches of paint on each car.
Executive Director of First Coast Crime Stoppers, Wyllie Hodges says graffiti is an ongoing issue in Jacksonville and has covered multiple businesses, including the railway system. He says it needs to stop.
"They need to realize what they're doing and the cost it is and the time and effort it is for people to stop their business, clean the walls, paint the walls," says Hodges.
He says the issue can be deeper than just a layer of paint. "It leads to a lot of bigger things. Your gang wars, your fights, your shootings, your murders, your killings. One thing leads to another," he says.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, graffiti tagging crews are present in Jacksonville. They say two in particular, have "caused over $50,000 in damage to private and public properties."
"It's a territorial thing, too. They'll go into this guy's supposed area and go in and do their graffiti. And as retaliation we're going to go into your territory," says Hodges. He says it continues to grow because it's not looked at as a high-priority crime, but it needs to be treated very seriously. "We need to get a handle on it. We need to get it stopped," he says.
Anyone with any information that could help police can call Crime Stoppers at 1 (866) 845-tips. Remember, you can remain anonymous and your tip could lead to a reward.