Strange letters and symbols began appearing in Ocean Springs earlier this year, painted on walls outside of an Ocean Springs shopping complex. Within the past couple weeks, many people say the symbols have been spotted throughout the city. Ocean Springs residents tell Keli Rabon that apparent graffiti is an art form not welcome in their community.
When Taylor Hall and Frank Butz walk out the back door of UPS every day, they see a very colorful problem.
"It's an eyesore for everyone that comes back here. It's not their property, they're writing on everyone else's walls," Hall says.
They say the graffiti started six months ago, and every week the cryptic words, numbers, and pictures seem to spread.
"People have tried to paint over it, but it comes back bigger and bigger every time," Butz said.
And it's not just behind UPS. You can find graffiti hot spots all along Bienville Blvd. Even on trailers crews are using to rebuild the Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge.
Investigators believe amateurs are responsible for these tag marks because they're not filled in, and they're not very detailed. But regardless, it's a crime that's costing money.
"Our paycheck is going towards repainting things that shouldn't have been here in the first place, and we don't appreciate that," Butz said.
And if gangs are responsible for the marks, Hall says he feels helpless preventing it.
It's not like we're going to come out here and tell them to stop, because we don't know what they're capable of," Hall said.
But what these unknown taggers are capable of is thousands of dollars of damage that investigators need your help to stop.
The Ocean Springs Police Department couldn't meet with WLOX on Monday, but said several suspects have been questioned. If you can help investigators with any tips, call the Criminal Investigations Division at (228) 875-2211.