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Graffiti vandals target bandshell at Shorefront Park in Patchogue

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Someone scrawled unsightly and childish-looking graffiti in and around the Shorefront Park bandshell twice in the last week.

Not only that, those who targeted the village property also broke an unwritten rule, even among graffiti vandals.

“You never graffiti artwork,” said Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri. “They actually went inside [the bandshell] and graffitied some of the mural that was put up in there.”

Pontieri made the announcement at Monday night’s Village Board meeting.

“What I would like to ask the community to do … is if you’re driving down by the park, keep an eye out over there. And if you see something, say something,” Pontieri said.

That report followed Trustee Jack Krieger pointing to some successful work among members of his neighborhood’s watch group in helping chase ne’er-do-wells from Father Tortura Park.

They did so by reporting suspicious activity to the nearby police precinct, and each time got an immediate response, Krieger said.

“There were reports to me that there was some drug activity there,” Krieger said. “So our neighborhood watch came together, and over the last three or four days, two people were taken away by the police from our park.”

In one case someone had a needle in his arm, he said, and two people were arrested. And in another case someone was smoking a joint in a car and was issued a ticket.

“That was because the neighborhood watch people called the police immediately; and they responded,” Krieger said. “Neighborhood watches work, and they’re helping clean up that park.”

He also said the group has an active Facebook page that keeps everyone in the neighborhood abreast of what’s happening.

“This could be like a model for neighborhood watches everywhere,” he said, urging anyone who might be interested in started such a group contact their local county legislator, which in Patchogue’s case is Rob Calarco, who also happened to be at Monday’s meeting.

“Call this man right here,” Krieger said.

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About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of greaterpatchogue.com. Email him your story ideas or tips: mike@greaterpatchogue.com