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Williamsburg Restaurant Wants To Turn Graffiti Vandals Into Artists

Action Burger Owner Issues Challenge: Come Put Your Talents To Work Inside
Williamsburg Graffiti

The owner of a Williamsburg restaurant wants to the vandals who left this graffiti to come and try their hand at real art. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The search is on for a couple of vandals caught on surveillance camera, leaving graffiti tags outside a business in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

But as CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported Wednesday, what is surprising about this story is what the victims have in mind if the suspects turn themselves in.

The graffiti Grinches were caught on surveillance camera Christmas night outside Action Burger restaurant, located at 292 Graham Ave. in Brooklyn.

While restaurant owner Vlane Carter was excited the surveillance cameras worked, he said he has no interest in getting the suspects locked up.

“A fine, and maybe a little probation and they’ll come out and do it again,” Carter said. “How can we do something to maybe change these kids’ life and make this a positive experience for everyone?”

So Carter’s idea is to invite the graffiti artists inside to show their work on the walls of his restaurant, which is all about comic books. The walls are filled with the work of local artists, including Carter’s own series.

“Draw something on paper that’s nice and pleasant, and let’s see how good you are,” Carter said. “We challenge them.”

Sahve Greeff works at Action Burger, and her artwork is also displayed on the walls. She said Carter’s idea is a win-win deal.

“He can put his artwork up, and if somebody likes it, they might come looking for him to do something else,” Greeff said.

Customers said they like the idea.

“I thought it was clever,” Timothy Pool said. ”You know, sometimes the first thing you think to do isn’t the right thing to do, and this is sort of a way to create a positive reaction as opposed to a negative.”

“We want them to know that there’s a home for them here inside. They don’t have to do it on the outside,” Carter said. “Maybe they can do a nice mural on the outside to make the neighborhood look better; make this place a friendlier place, and make New York City how it should be.”

Carter is hoping the vandals will come into the restaurant to take him up on his deal.

Do you think this is a good idea, or do you think the vandals should be punished? Leave your comments below…