I wanted to make store owners/operators and parents aware of new development regarding graffiti vandalism here in Niles.
I can verify from personal observation and cleanup efforts that we now
have taggers in the Niles area who are engaged in what is called "acid
etch tagging." They buy a creamy glass etching solution from a crafts
store like Michael's and mix it with white or black liquid shoe polish
(the kind that comes in a bottle with a dauber applicator attached
inside the cap). They then go around tagging bare metal objects or
window glass using the dauber. I guess they're so proud that they've
finally mastered the ability to spell their own initials after 10-12
years of education that they want the whole world to know that they
are only functionally illiterate, not totally illiterate.
The reason I mention this development is that one of these punks can
go down a whole row of storefronts in a matter of minutes, tagging
each and every plate glass store window. By the time the store
owner/operator comes in to open the shop in the morning, the nitwit
tagger's illegible scrawl is etched into your window glass. If the
scope of the damage covers enough of the window, the only cure is
either to hire someone to polish out the damage or to replace the
window at a huge cost.
This has become an epidemic problem in the Noe Valley area of San
Francisco, among many other areas on the West Coast (do a Google
search for "acid etch graffiti" for further details as to the scope of
the damage in Noe Valley and up and down the coast from Vancouver to
I bring this subject to the attention of both store owners/operators
and parents not only as a "head's up," for the following important
reason: The acid etch solution that these peabrains use contains
hydrofluoric acid that can inflict serious skin, eye, or lung damage.
If you or a child find one of these tags and the solution is still
wet, DO NOT touch it! Report it to the Fremont Graffiti Abatement
Hotline to be removed by someone who knows how to handle these
materials safely. Also, if you or a child finds what appears to be a
discarded bottle of shoe polish, DO NOT open it. What appears to be
black or white liquid shoe polish actually can contain acid.
Del at The Trees
P.S. It's possible to put a protective plastic film covering over
plate glass store windows at a cost of $2-3 per square foot to protect
them from this sort of damage. I would encourage local storefront
owners/operators to contact glass companies and get such a film
installed over their store's plate glass. It's only a matter of time
before the first IQ-of-a-snail tagger puts this method to use on
window glass here in Niles.
I already found and cleaned up the first tag acid etched into an
aluminum lightpole near Rancho Arroyo Parkway. So, someone already is
using this method here locally. Clearly, the word will get around in
the tagger community. We all can hope that the only person who ever
will suffer chemical burns from these noxious materials will the be
the jerks that use them for tagging in the first place.