A south Arlington neighborhood is on edge after nearly a dozen homes there were hit by vandals. Now, police are asking for the community’s help to track down whoever is responsible.
Chris Hoff has lived along Pimlico Drive for 19 years, and in all that time he’s never waked up to find his neighborhood looking like it did Tuesday morning.
“You know, you just kind of do a double take,” said Hoff. “And you say, 'Really? In this neighborhood?'”
Sometime late Monday or early Tuesday, vandals tagged several houses, cars and fences in the area with graffiti. The affected homes were along Solano Drive, Pimlico Drive and Willow Ridge Drive.
Nearby Wood Elementary School and two cable boxes were also hit.
“Everybody is obviously frustrated,” said Hoff. “Then there’s that mixture of uneasy feelings. Is this going to happen again or is it dangerous?”
The vandals spray painted the letters “VTF” on each place they targeted. Arlington police said that tag is associated with a gang in California. However, they’re not aware of that gang being present in Arlington.
“Right now, our gang investigators are working [the case], simply because they work all graffiti cases,” said Sgt. Jeff Houston, a spokesman for the Arlington Police Department.
Police have since stepped up patrols in the area and are actively looking for any witnesses or surveillance video.
“Many cases get solved by somebody seeing something that they didn’t think was anything,” said Houston. “Maybe it’s a car that doesn’t belong in the neighborhood at night or something as simple as that.”
In the meantime, the city is working with the victims to help them clean up the mess. Arlington has a graffiti abatement program that sends crews to remove or cover up graffiti at no cost to homeowners. Hoff said representatives from that program have already reached out to him and his neighbors.
“They were quick to get out here and they explained everything,” said Hoff. “It’s my understanding they’re going to take care of my fence very quickly, so I’m thankful for the city.”
The program does not cover damage to cars.
Hoff said he and his neighbors have already talked about getting security cameras. Still, they’re hopeful this is last time they’ll have deal with something like this.
“It opens up a lot of cans of worms that I wish weren’t open,” said Hoff. “But I think definitely the folks around this neighborhood will be more watchful, especially at night.”
Police said damage to the neighborhood is well into the thousands of dollars. Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call the Arlington Police Department.