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The Case of the Apologetic Graffiti "Vandlism"

Shelter Cove snack stand and bathroom defaced

They said they were sorry for spraypainting the building with graffiti.

How do we know?

For one, the apology was spraypainted on the building.

"Sorry about your door," goes the drippy, black spraypaint written on the snack stand door at Shelter Cove.

The multiple layers and colors of spray paint are sprawled across the blocks, the locked doors, the cement sidewalk.

The roll-down security gate to the snack window also was plastered with a series of messages from vandals who heavily spraypainted the small building at Shelter Cove Park's Barnegat Bay beach area. The building is used as a concession stand and also has public bathrooms, all of which are locked in the off-season.

There may be reason to believe, however, that the vandals aren't sincere about their apology. Not just because of the obvious irony but because there's one other message spraypainted there that isn't true.

"Free drinks inside," goes another spraypainted message, but it's just a tease. The snack stand has been closed since fall and the beach front isn't staffed until Memorial Day. If you saw the message and thought you could score a free soda, sorry, you've been fooled.

We also know the culprit's creative side includes humanizing inanimate objects, such as cigars, as is depicted in the spraypainted drawing of Mr. Black & Mild. The figure appears to be dancing or running, his four fingers outstretched, as he exclaims: "Weed!"

Finally, we have reason to believe the vandals may have hastily spraypainted their message, but stuck around long enough to realize that they had misspelled "vandalism." Their originally spelling, "vandlism," was missing its "a," which the author inserted after the fact.

It's unclear when the graffiti first appeared, but it has been there for at least a month, when it was first noticed.

Other than those observations, it's unclear as to who is behind the graffiti.  But if you have any ideas, try calling 732-349-0150.

. April 16, 2011 at 03:25 AM
How disgusting! I grew up going to the beach at Shelter Cove many years ago when there was a regular crowd and we all had a great time going there. The buildings were all redone a few years back and it was such a postitive thing to the area. I don't know what is going on in Toms River lately, but it is getting terrible everywhere.
Reynolds April 16, 2011 at 12:59 PM
We have gone from leaving our doors unlocked during the day to having alarms installed. Who are these young people roaming around Toms River breaking into homes and defacing property? I hope that no one starts blaming these crimes on the economy, which some bleeding hearts tend to do. Our police need to step up to the plate and take the offense in preventing such outrages from happening and the courts need to start punishing the ones who are guilty.
eruth April 16, 2011 at 02:41 PM
What's the jersey shore without graffiti. Nonetheless, they should be punished.
barbara April 16, 2011 at 03:28 PM
Too much time on their hands and not enough fear of prosecution. When they get caught, they should be made to clean that mess up on their time and do some real community service. Or would that be too cruel?
. April 16, 2011 at 04:48 PM
No one has the right to deface any property, private or public. Graffiti doesn't belong anywhere. I hope they are caught and made to clean it up with a toothbrush. Maybe, just maybe, they think about doing it again.
Darlene S. April 18, 2011 at 01:47 PM
Why weren't motion detector cameras installed in that area? They're inexpensive, and only operate when there is movement...once the vandals are apprehended, they should (in the minimum) be mandated to clean and restore the area to its original condition...regardless of their ages!
marcy October 08, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Why even post the photos? That is what they want.

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