Vandals targeting cars in Huntington Park

HUNTINGTON PARK, Calif.

The targeted cars were parked along the 3300 block of California Street, and residents say this is not the first time the cars have been spray-painted.

Area resident Joseph Jerez said the overnight vandalism adds to a string of incidents seen in the neighborhood in recent months.

"They've been stealing things from the properties, pots and everything else," said Jerez.

Another Huntington Park resident Jose Castillo said vandals began by spray-painting trees and moved on to walls and now cars.

Many say their neighborhood has been quiet and safe up until about four months ago when the problems began.

"This has been a very, very quiet neighborhood for the last 20 years," said Jerez. "I don't know where it is coming from."

The recurring acts of vandalism have brought a blanket of fear over the community.

"I get scared. I'm more watching my back now when I walk down the street or something, and just keeping an eye out for anything suspicious," said Castillo.

Neighbors say they've called the police after every incident. Authorities say the city has a widespread problem with graffiti and pinpointing the culprits can be difficult.

But one resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said it's time to take action.

"I'm installing security cameras. I'm probably putting up a fence in front of my house, which I didn't like, but now I think I didn't have a choice," he said.

Talks of a neighborhood watch are now stirring, and this small, hard-working community said they will not give into the cowards who deface their property at night.

"They live on fear of other people," said Castillo.

Residents say cleaning up after every incident is getting expensive, and they hope the culprits stop terrorizing their neighborhood.

Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.