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'Graffiti Mary' on crusade to clean up city

Posted at 6:53 AM, Dec 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-08 06:53:26-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's not hard to find graffiti littering the streets and buildings around downtown Indianapolis – but one woman is working to make it a little harder.

Mari Vitale peddles through downtown Indianapolis on a mission. She looks for graffiti left by taggers all across the city. Some may call it art. She calls it a menace.

"It bothered me to the point where I just bought some stuff to see if I could get it off," she said.

For the last year-and-a-half, Vitale has been working to remove every piece of graffiti she finds. What she can't remove, she covers up.

"I think people think I'm weird at first," she said. "Then they realize I'm just doing it. I've had a lot of people say, 'Why do you do this?' Why not?"

Police officers say Vitale's efforts are making a difference in our community.

"Her going out and removing graffiti on her own using her own money because she cares is important," said IMPD Officer Jeff Elliot.

"Graffiti Mary" is moving to another city soon, though. She says she hopes someone else will champion her cause and pick up where she left off.

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