University City Police Captain Michael Ransom said graffiti that has popped up recently on dumpsters and telephone poles in the Loop does not appear to be related to any gang activity.
"It's more likely the street tagger, the urban street artists, who from time to time hit us," he told a roomful of Loop business owners at Tuesday's meeting of the Loop Special Business Districts.
"I have alerted my staff, especially the night staff to pay particular attention to the areas, see if we can put a stop to that," he said.
Captain Ransom said it's important for businesses to report the graffiti to police and paint over it. "If you see suspicious people give us a call," he said.
"These are not the gangland people who are trying to establish territory," said Richard Meyer, manager of Rainbow Management Incorporated, which owns a building in the Loop. He was told the tagger's main motivation is for ego gratification.
"An important aspect of their activity is to do their little piece of vandalism and than be able to take a picture the next day. It's important to clean it up as soon you as you see it. That deprives these people of the ability to get the satisfaction of taking their picture."
Some of the streets hit by graffiti taggers include Clemens, Westgate and Interdrive.
Meyer said businesses need to be aggressive about removing the graffiti, so that the vandals will get the message graffiti will not be tolerated and that they will move on to some other area.