Vacant Tucson Buildings Getting Tagged

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: September 23, 2015

Vacant Tucson Buildings Getting Tagged

Whether it’s a house that can be sold, a retired building waiting for it’s new owners to renovate or simply a dilapidating building anticipating demolition, graffiti is sparing no brick, mortar or stucco wall these days…

Across Tucson, the increasing use of tagging by late night vandalizers is making a scene in a big way…

Especially near the busy midtown street corner of Grant and Campbell where a large territorial mark was left on a former Walgreens slated for demolition for the Grant Road widening project and a former movie theater.

Council member Steve Kozachik is the ward representative and is making every effort to curb the vandalism and clean it up as soon as it’s seen.  He saw to it that the city’s clean up contractor tackled the issue after noticing the graffiti driving by.

A private company is continuing clean up on the old theater, which is now owned by Banner Health.

But the issue persists as vacant buildings tend to attract vandalism, though this particular tagging incident happened in a well-traveled area…

Council member strongly believes that any issues with the vacant buildings should be resolved in the near future but many are skeptical as Walgreens isn’t the only vacant building in town susceptible to a a tagging make-over.

The city is also  seeking a business to take up a temporary lease in the old Walgreens, possibly another drug store to make it a place of activity warding off taggers.

It is reported that Banner Health is expected to populate the theater within the next six months and use the area to house contractors, architects, and other employees involved in an upcoming construction project which will greatly reduce any tagging incidences in the future.

Now for anyone who owns a vacant building and is having similar issues, here are a few things you can implement to help reduce the vandalism and the time and money that follows to remove it…

Install Security Systems

Keeping a vacant building secure is the most important aspect in preventing damage and there are a number of ways to provide security for a vacant building…

Depending on the value of the building and its contents, the likelihood of damage occurring, and any other factors that could affect building safety, you will need to determine what methods of security are best for the property.

Here are a few to choose from:

Alarms: An alarm system should be seriously considered for any vacant building if one does not already exist. Alarms will deter individuals from attempting to enter your building and will quickly alert authorities if someone does break in. If the building has an existing security alarm system, be sure to continue the service. Alert the alarm service provider that the building will be vacant.

Security/Patrol Guards: Contracting with a security company to patrol a vacant property is another way to help keep it secure. Patrol guards can be contracted to visit the building at random times every day to make sure nothing is wrong. These guards are a great way to deter trespassers and vandals and can provide quick notification if there are any other problems.

Lighting: Motion-activated lights and general lighting can also help protect vacant buildings. Keeping entryways and other areas around the building well-lit will deter individuals from attempting to enter the building. Motion-activated lights are also another great deterrent because they will only turn on when someone gets too close to the building and will most often scare off potential criminals.

Cameras: Installing security cameras will help protect vacant property in two ways. For starters, cameras can act as deterrent for would-be criminals. The second is that it will help identify who is causing damage and enable you to enact preventative measures to keep it from happening again.

Alert Others of Vacancy

Another good way to help protect vacant property is to alert others that it is vacant so they can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity…

Be sure to alert local fire and police departments so they know that the building is vacant. In addition, contact the building’s utility provider so they can keep you informed of any unusual spikes in power usage….

If possible, it is also beneficial to alert neighbors or nearby tenants that the building is going to become vacant so they can help observe the building and report any unusual activity.

Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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