Crime is ugly. Any crime. It is generally the willful violation of not only civil law but laws of human kindness.
To rail on about major crimes is unnecessary, we know the impacts of murder, rape assault, arson, thefts and other serious crimes.
But as Kurt Hauglie showed in a page 1 story Monday, a recent spate of crimes in Houghton and Hancock strikes us in terms of being thoughtless and, well, just plain mean.
For some vandalism and graffiti are "minor crimes," in that rarely is there physical injury to the victims.
But what strikes us is the motivation behind such crimes. These don't appear to be crimes of passion because often times intricate planning is involved and there certainly isn't any promise of financial reward by destroying or marring someone's property.
If there is no potential for reward then why are these crimes committed and by whom?
The only answer to the former question is a lack of respect and a total disregard for others and their property.
The motivation for a vandal to intentionally break or damage someone elses property is lost on us. They are not using what they are vandalizing, just making sure the owners cannot use it as well.
To us there is also a selfishness to graffiti as well. For someone to intentionally paint on property that isn't theirs is inexcusable.
It is not a form of free speech or self expression, nor is it art. It is a crime. We hope our Monday story illustrated the destructive nature of these activities.
These are not cases of "child's play" or "boys will be boys." These are serious crimes and need to be treated as such. With increased public awareness hopefully two things will occur. Those responsible for these crimes will be brought to justice and the occurrence of these types of malicious crimes will stop altogether.