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Much of the graffiti that littered the blue or green mailboxes in Woodhaven has been painted over, and the boxes have stayed clean for the most part, said Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA).
On Sunday, August 26, Wendell and two other residents went out to clean about nine mailboxes that were tagged. By the end of the day, all 80 mailboxes in Woodhaven — across three zones — were cleaned.
Zone A, which spans from Woodhaven Boulevard to 98th Street, has not needed to be cleaned in nearly a month, Wendell said.
“We haven’t touched that one now in three-and-a-half weeks,” he said. “We’re definitely seeing some progress.”
After researching graffiti statistics, Wendell said the best way to fight consistent graffiti was by repainting the mailboxes as soon as they have been tagged.
The Courier reported in early August that the WRBA had been tracking tags in an effort to combat the markings throughout the neighborhood.
The Block Association has continued to give information to the 102nd Precinct to help fight the problem.
If graffiti continues in the neighborhood, Wendell said residents would be open to staking out boxes that are common targets, in conjunction with police efforts. He and other residents plan on taking the Civilian Police Course this fall that will inform them of correct legal procedures.
“We did speak to [the police] about doing stake-outs,” Wendell said. “We have got about a half dozen residents, myself included, who are going to the Civilian Police Academy.”
The neighborhood leader said if a vandal is caught, residents will work with law enforcement to make sure the proper penalty is imposed.
“Now when someone gets arrested for tagging in the neighborhood, we’re going to be following up,” he said.