REIDSVILLE, N.C. — Police are reporting about a dozen instances of apparent gang-related vandalism on four streets in the city.
Victims on Wentworth Street, Scott Street, Field Street, and Ridge Street all reported spray paint on automobiles, homes, and street signs.
“People are taking this serious. This is not a joke,” insisted Melissa Benfield. Her mother’s car was spray painted on both sides and her brother’s car was tagged with the word, “Slut.”
“It’s Wentworth Street,” said Benfield’s mother, Linda French as she shrugged her shoulders. “We have people wandering up and down the street at all hours of the night. Our police do what they can, but they can’t be everywhere.”
Benfield’s and French’s neighbor, James Price, was also a victim. The vandals marked his Duke sign, the side of his house, and his grandparent’s car.
“It’s not surprising that it happens. But it’s surprising that it happened right here. I’ve never seen anything like this, and I’ve been living here a while,” said Price. “They don’t have respect for other people’s stuff.”
Neighbors say at first they weren’t sure if they should take the spray painting seriously or if it was all a practical joke.
Benfield says once they realized how many people were affected, they were not laughing at all.
Police say since the graffiti uses words like “Killer,” “Gang,” and “Blood,” they must investigate it as gang activity.
“When I hear gangs, I think of big cities,” said Benfield, “Not small towns. I have this image of Reidsville… a small town where everyone knows everyone and takes care of each other. But stuff like this… it ruins my image.”
“I remember as a child this street used to be really safe… but now, it’s scary to walk from my door to my vehicle at night,” said Benfield.
Police say people should pay attention to warning signs, especially strangers loitering in their neighborhood.
Anyone with information about the vandalism can call Crimestoppers at 336-349-9683.