WARREN Standing firm against graffiti

A councilman said the city needs business owners and residents to 'take an active stance.'
WARREN -- At least one local business owner is going to make sure his business stays free of graffiti.
Henry Nemenz, owner of Save-A-Lot, 1020 North Park Ave., said his store has recently become a target of vandals who have spray-painted the building.
"I'm not even sure what the markings mean, if they mean anything, but I know I don't want it on my building," Nemenz said. "We have painted over it, and I have instructed my manager to make sure the graffiti is taken off as soon as it is noticed."
Nemenz said he has security officers in the store who will be on the lookout for vandals.
Crimes: Officials say they are spending more time patrolling in the northwest section, where the store is, because of an increase of vandalism and theft.
"We have had a lot of the spray-painting in that area," Mayor Hank Angelo said. "But I am so glad we have people like Mr. Nemenz who take pride in their business and the community and will take steps to make sure the graffiti does not stay around long."
Police department records show officers were called to the area 606 times in May and June. Chief John Mandopoulos thinks the recent rash of calls has to do with a feud between two rival groups.
The chief noted that government-assisted housing units in the city have strict security and have been able to stop a lot of illegal activity in those neighborhoods.
Councilman Alford Novak, D-2nd, whose ward includes part of the northwest section, is pleased that Nemenz and other business owners are willing to take steps to keep up the area.
"We need people to take an active stance and not put up with having graffiti on the walls of businesses and homes," Novak said.
Novak said the city has other problems in that area, including gunfire, loitering, drugs, prostitution, loud music, speeding, vacant homes and violations of the property maintenance code.

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