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Posted on Jul 17, 2013

Recognizing Gang Activity


If you think your child’s school or social group is immune from gang activity, think again. Gang activity can be found in every social, academic and ethnic category. Look for these signs when trying to identifying gang relations your child may be susceptible to…

  • The child begins hanging out with a new group of friends.
  • There’s a marked change in the child’s habits or personality.
  • You find evidence of or suspect drug or alcohol abuse.
  • The child frequently shows signs of being bruised or injured.
  • You observe the child using unusual hand signs, nicknames or street language.
  • The child is carrying guns, knives or other weapons.
  • You observe strange symbols or graffiti on notebooks and folders.
  • The child withdraws from family members or friends.
  • Grades fall and/or incidents requiring discipline become more frequent.
  • The child obtains money without your knowledge.
  • The child dresses in the same color clothing every day or wears tattoos, unusual jewelry, hairstyles, or clothing that could identify a particular gang.

For more information on Gang Activity please visit one of the links provided below


Download a copy of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Basic Criminal Street Gang Information Pamphlet in order to learn about the different aspects of gang activity and what signs to be on the watch for.



  • Graffiti is illegal, ugly and expensive to remove.
    • The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is committed to ridding our county of graffiti – but we need your help to do it.
  • Graffiti is a crime that affects us all.
    • It can lower property values, make people feel unsafe, reduce business patronage and encourage other types of crime. Conversely, keeping business premises graffiti-free helps to reinforce a professional image with customers, while keeping our neighborhoods graffiti-free reinforces pride in our county and helps to maintain feelings of safety and wellbeing.
  • Graffiti vandals have no respect for private or community property and no regard for the negative impacts of their actions.
    • Their aim is to impress their peers and strengthen their reputations by putting their graffiti tags in as many places as possible. Graffiti that is left intact attracts more graffiti and the longer it remains the greater the gratification for perpetrators. It also suggests a community that does not care or is unable to deal with the problem.
  • How Does Graffiti Hurt?
    • Property Value – According to the National Association of Realtors, properties located in neighborhoods where there is graffiti vandalism lose 15% of their value.
    • Safety – Patrons of buildings, parks, or public facilities where graffiti vandalism has occurred may feel that if graffiti is tolerated, then more serious crimes such as theft and assault may also go unchallenged.
    • Clean-Up Cost – According to the U.S. Department of Justice, "an estimated $12 billion a year is spent cleaning up graffiti in the United States." Additionally a Public Technology Inc. 2002 survey of communities found that "Los Angeles County spends about $55 million per year on graffiti removal."

How Can You Help?

You can help us stay on top of graffiti and vandalism by taking measures to prevent it and if it does occur, by making sure it is cleaned as quickly as possible.

If you have any information related to Gang related activity or if you want to report an area where Graffiti is located please contact Crime Stoppers at (352) 368-STOP (7867) or submit an anonmyous tip online at

The More Accurate Information we have, The faster we can get it cleaned.


  • Address – The address of the building affected or an address closest to the area affected (curbs,stairs, etc,)
  • Please include Business name (if applicable)
  • If at an Intersection please include cross roads and directional cues (NE, SE, SW, NW), also include which corner the graffiti is on.
  • Utility poles and boxes – include the Company name
  • If you know the owner of the property, please include:
    • Owner’s Name
    • Address with city
    • Phone number

How To Describe a Graffiti Location

  • Commercial and Residential Buildings

    • In order to contact the person responsible for a building we need an exact address and what was graffitied.
  • Street Signs, Stoplights, Litter Containers, etc..
    • The address of a building behind or next to these items or the intersection and where the graffiti is located is needed.