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Lathrop house in escrow marred by graffiti
This newly remodeled foreclosed Lathrop home marred by graffiti is in escrow after being on the market for just six days. The house is in a quiet neighborhood just about a block away from the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District’s Station 1. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO
LATHROP – A newly remodeled house already in escrow was hit by vandals in Lathrop late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

Graffiti was sprayed on the garage door, the front door and front wall of the tidy two-bedroom home in a quiet residential neighborhood just a skip-and-a-hop away from the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District main station and a well-appointed neighborhood park that does double duty as a storm drain pond.

The bank-owned home is being sold by PMZ Real Estate agent Brad Young who said the property has been in the market a mere six days. He said the graffiti, which was mainly concentrated on the garage door, the front door and on the For Sale sign on the front lawn, will be removed today. He said he a already has been in contact with the city’s code enforcement personnel and assured them that the vandalism will be removed today.

That 48-hour deadline is part of the recently amended and more stringent city ordinance governing graffiti in the city. Under this more aggressive stance, if property owners fail to comply with the new rule, the city will do the job and then forward the bill to the owners. If the bill is not paid accordingly, the city will then attach it to the property.

“We’re extremely serious,” city code compliance supervisor Lane Avilla said about the new ordinance.

The old abatement period used to give property owners seven days to remove the graffiti.

“It’s kind of sad that it happened. It’s a nice neighborhood; we never had a whole bunch of (graffiti) incidence in the area. This is the only place we know that was tagged,” added Avilla.

He said they found out about the graffiti incident from an anonymous caller early Wednesday morning.

Young said the house was built in 1982. It was sold in 2007 for $325,000 to the new owners who were unable to keep up with the payments and had the house foreclosed. The listing price for the two-bedroom house with the one-bath and two-car garage was $70,900. Like many of the circa 1982-built houses in this residential neighborhood of the city around the fire station, the victim of the graffiti had been remodeled by the property owners. Many of the houses have replaced wood sidings with stucco, added architectural features to the façade such as arched porticoes, and new doors with decorative insert glasses. Manicured lawns and gardens that included tree roses complete the curb appeal of the houses.