KENNEWICK, Wash.-- We're getting mixed reports on the number of taggings in the Tri-Cities so far this year.
Some areas are down, while others are up. NBC Right Now checked with Tri-Cities law enforcement to see what the problem looked like in their cities.
In Kennewick taggings are down 20 percent. They're also down in Pasco from 70 last year to 31 in 2012. But in Richland, they're up from 43 in 2011 to 78 this year with combined gang and regular taggings. Police say there are several reasons for the spike.
"A lot of it isn't gang related, a lot of it is just tagging with whatever people happen to write on things," explains Captain Mike Cobb of the Richland Police Department.
So far Richland police have already caught two gang members responsible for a majority of tagging incidents this year.
Police tell us most of the offenders are juveniles. In Benton County, offenders have to clean up the graffiti in communities where they committed their crime.