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Etched Glass Graffiti Plaguing Short North Businesses

UPDATED: Thursday October 3, 2013 6:36 PM

Short North business owners have been put on alert, after more than 40 windows at more than two-dozen businesses were vandalized.

While sometimes difficult to see, store owners say the etchings in the glass are costly to repair or replace.

Business owners say they believe the graffiti is happening in the morning hours, when it is dark outside and hardly anyone is on the street.

“I drove up to the front of the store and immediately saw it, because at night, it shines like a beacon,” said Grandview Mercantile owner Sharon O’Brien.

O’Brien found the graffiti all over the front windows of her store, but it's not the kind that can be washed off.

She says someone etched large letters into the glass of six large windows in the front of her Short North store.

“The reason I'm upset about it, is that this is permanent damage. It took the person about a minute to do it and did $12,000 worth of damage,” said O’Brien.

This isn't the only shop that was struck.

10TV found symbol after symbol etched into the windows of dozens of stores along North High Street.  

Some of the graffiti looks like letters, with elaborate designs, while others appeared to be simple slashes across the glass.

Not only does it cost a lot to repair, but the owner of Paradise Garage says she's worried about the negative image the etchings will bring to those visiting the Short North.

“It just brings down the image of the short north and what Columbus is trying to do with the short north,” said Short North visitor Sean Allen.

Allen says the graffiti won't push him away, but owners, like O'Brien, who pour so much of their money and time into making these businesses grow, say they worry the criminals might also come back.

“And when someone comes in and does something like this, randomly, to create havoc within the neighborhood, you do feel violated,” says O’Brien.

Short North leaders say they are working with Columbus police to try and figure out who's tagging the windows.

At the same time, business owners are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading an arrest.
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