Charity store offers reward for information about vandals defacing building

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Glengarry has been targeted by vandals enough for it to offer...
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Glengarry has been targeted by vandals enough for it to offer a reward for information leading to the prosecution of the perpetrator. PHOTO: BEN TOMSETT
Fed up with being targeted by taggers, a local charity store is offering $500 for any information that leads to the prosecution of the vandals.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in the Invercargill suburb of Glengarry has been vandalised twice in recent months, once with gang insignia, which Housing co-ordinator Dave Hope said was not just defacing a charitable building, but bringing the whole community down.

"It costs a lot to repair. Anybody can put a bit of paint on it, but at the end of the day it still costs money, that’s got to be found somewhere," he said.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organisation, which only makes money through its ReStore shop which sells donated items.

"Only what we generate is what we get to spend in the community, and all the money that we get, we try and put back into the community in one form or another."

The organisation aids the community through home repairs, boarding houses, house building, and other services.

"In the past we’ve done quite a lot for the community around here in Invercargill and the wider Southland."

The money spent on repairing the graffiti was money taken away from the community, he said.

Until four months ago, the building did not have a problem with graffiti — though it was now becoming a regular occurrence.

"What gets me, is for all that work that we’ve got to do to here, [the vandal] comes along and just does what he wants.

"If this guy’s got some talent, then he should get out there and use that talent in a better way that’s promoting the community, not come and ruin it for others, and costs time and effort and money."

"What’s his purpose for tagging? If the purpose is that he wants his name out there that much, then get out and do some proper stuff. Use his skills of art to the best he can, but not behind closed doors like he’s doing and just going around just defacing things."

He said the Habitat for Humanity ReStore would offer $500 to anyone who could provide information that would lead to the prosecution of the perpetrator, as the cost of the reward would save the store money in the long run with the constant repairs.

"If he’s got any conscience at all, he should realise that this is actually costing people money, time and effort, and it’s taken us away from other work."