Downtown Belleville’s graffiti vandal has struck again.
The word “sorce” — with the S stylized to look like a snake — has appeared on an alley wall behind the Wine Tap restaurant at 223 E. Main Street between two buildings operated by Curt Smith’s sporting goods store.
Belleville Police Department spokesman Sgt. Mark Heffernan said officers have taken nine reports about the damage overall. The vandalism apparently happened between May 24-27.
“We do not have any suspects at this time, and we do not have any surveillance to release that we believe would be helpful, Heffernan said.”
Joe Wagner, shipping manager at Curt Smith’s, said this isn’t the first time the backs of the business’ buildings have been tagged with graffiti.
“It’s been a few years, but they’ve hit that same wall before. It’s been repainted a few times,” Wagner said.
Wagner said the work is much less sophisticated this time than it has been in the past.
“It looked like gang graffiti before,” he said. “This looks like it's kids stuff.”
On May 25, the same word was discovered spray painted on the Belleville City Hall building at 101 S. Illinois St. as well as the former Meredith Home on the southeast quadrant of the Belleville Public Square.
Heffernan said, while investigators are keeping all options open, they believe the vandalism is more likely the work of teenagers roaming the streets now that school is out for the summer than that of street gangs.
Heffernan asked that downtown residents and shopkeepers keep an eye out and, if they see anything suspicious, report it to the Belleville Police Department at 618-234-1212.