Gang activity in your neighborhood can give you a bad feeling.

But when it affects your own home, the feeling can be really unnerving. Dow Monier knows this feeling first-hand.

Out of town on Christmas Eve, a neighbor informed him that someone had vandalized his garage door in the rear of his home. Monier says spray paint now mars his once-clean door.

“It was all kinds of gang stuff,” he says. “I think it was just random.”

Monier says a neighbor’s door was also hit, but that at least neither home was not broken into and nothing was stolen. He also says Dallas Police would be sending an investigator out to talk with neighbors, and a gang expert to review the graffiti.

Now, Monier says he will have to repaint the door, and hopes that this annoyance does not reoccur.

“It’s horrible,” he says of the vandalism. “But what’s even worse is knowing there’s gang members walking through the alley. I’ve lived here for eight years and never had anything happen. It’s terrible.”

As a victim of crime, he plans to be more watchful in his neighborhood, and hopes other neighbors will be also.

“I’m hoping that people are going to be just a little more observant,” Monier says.

According to Dallas Police Lt. Barry Payne, if this graffiti was indeed gang-related, it is most likely just a random act, often used to mark territory.

“In general, some graffiti is completely random but it could (often) be retaliatory or hate crimes,” he says. “Usually if it is not random, the victim knows why he’s been targeted. If this was gang graffiti, I’m pretty sure it was random.”

Police will be patroling the area for further signs of gangs and graffiti in the area, Payne says. He also advises residents of one easy and inexpensive way to thwart vandals and criminals.

“It is often helpful for homeowners to install motion-activated lighting around their homes to help deter this type of activity.”

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