Kilgore Neighborhood Suspects Gang Graffiti - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

01/15/04 - Longview

Kilgore Neighborhood Suspects Gang Graffiti

Residents of a West Kilgore neighborhood are worried the graffiti beginning to show up on local homes and businesses may be gang related. "I might leave my house one day and they might break in and paint the walls  steal all my stuff," says resident Keisha Wright.

The neighborhood, just off the downtown area, is nicknamed Little Mexico, and many residents are complaining of frequent incidents of graffiti, plainly displayed on homes.  They say they show gang symbols such as Vatos Locos and East Side Locos.

"This is going on and nobody's opening their eyes saying what can we do to stop it," says resident Kristy Sanchez.

"Some are artists some are wanna be's, we don't have that I know of, or that the department knows of, any criminal gang activity in Kilgore at this time," says Captain Randy Hancock of the Kilgore police department.

Kilgore police say it's the work of "wanna-be's", or kids who aren't in gangs, but want the reputation that comes with membership in a gang. Investigators say they've had no gang activity there, but those who live in the area are afraid the kids will grow up to more aggressive crime.

No arrests have been made yet and no connections have been made to any gang members.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.

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