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Sprinkler power puts taggers on the run 0

MATT KIELTYKA, 24 HOURS

Tired of tagging, a California business owner is spraying back at graffiti artists thanks to B.C. technology.

Scott Railsback was at his wit's end after his construction company in Whittier, Calif. - 12 miles east of Los Angeles - became a target for graffiti artists.

"Every couple of days, I was out there painting over [the graffiti]," Railsback told 24 hours. "We tried cameras and lights and anti-graffiti paint but none of it worked. Every time the sun came up, it was back."

The Mure Corporation vice-president quickly blew through thousands of dollars covering up taggers' work and went looking for a solution.

That's when he came across Victoria-based Contech Electronics' ScareCrow sprinklers.

Although the motion-activated sprinklers are designed to keep wildlife out of gardens and other property, Railsback found a way to make it work on humans.

Now, when a graffiti artist shows up at Mure's building in the middle of the night and gets too close to the wall, they get a cold shower from sprinklers mounted 15 feet above.

"It's great," Railsback chuckled. "I don't get graffiti anymore."

The improvised system got Contech Electronics' attention.

"It's not what we had in mind, but it's been pretty successful," said Contech spokesperson Tracey Robertson.

She said Contech would be willing to consult with other companies dealing with the same graffiti woes if the demand is there.


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