Do you know how to avoid the police?
“I don’t know how I’m gonna get out of this one,” O’Keefe says, laughing.
“People always say that,” says Gage. “You know, they say, ‘We got rid of him!'”
“I’ve got an appointment with the police.”
“But no one wants to show up for it,” says Gage.
“If there’s no one there, then you don’t have a case,” O’Keefe says, explaining that he hasn’t had a good day in a long time when he’s been on the street because he’s always wanted to stop the cops and tell them what’s wrong with him. But he says he’s only been a problem because he’s “disrespectful,” which might be a better descriptor than “graffiti artist.” He says that he doesn’t believe that anyone can paint a sign up on the sidewalk and that that would qualify him as a street artist.
“Maybe if we had a sign here,” Gage says.
After all, the first thing that police must do when they find a suspected sprayer is to photograph it and file it as evidence, but because the signs on the sidewalks don’t meet those requirements, Gage says he doesn’t really know what the problem is.
“Maybe someone’s vandalised a wall and has just spray painted,” Gage says. “It’s all so new to us.”
A couple of the sign thieves who stole most of the stickers on Wren’s business sign a $1,000 bounty on anyone who’s caught spray painting graffiti or selling them.
“I thought I was gonna cry,” says Wren, explaining he was hoping to get more people to come forward from her shop because a lot of people have no clue that they can be spray painted anywhere and that they can also sell them, making them worthless for many, many hours of your day.
But the people at the shop seem unfazed by the bounty, telling him that it gives them something to do. Wren is now hoping she can raise enough money to have the sign put back up. With an eye on their own business, they have other businesses of their own on the corner to sell their wares.
“I want to stay open,” Wren says, adding that she doesn’t mind the money when it helps her children’s school, but she hates to think that someone is going to
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