NewsWest 9 Investigates: Selling of Spray Paint in Hardware stores

by Mitzi Loera
NewsWest 9

Another arrest has been made in connection with a rash of tagging in the Tall City.

Now a 12 year old sits behind bars along with a 13 year old, and Midland police say even more arrests are still on the way.

NewsWest Nine investigated what's being done to try and keep spray cans out of kids' hands.

"Use to be you didn't have to have it, it could be anywhere."

Selling spray paint has never been a problem for stores, but how they display it has changed over the years.

"Then they changed the law because of the graffiti and inhaling it they changed to where it had to be under lock and key."

That was five years ago now things are a little different.

Ray Sale has been in the hardware business for 38 years.

He says keeping the cans in a cage stopped him from providing fast service to his customers.

"It was just a nuisance every time someone wanted a can of spray paint," says Sale.

That's why a group of associations worked hard to loosen the law.

Now a cage is no longer required.

"We have to have it displayed out in the open where some can see it at all times, if it's not that way it has to be under lock and key. We also have it under video camera that we are watching, and its right here by the checkout counter," Sale continues.

The cashier must check a customer's i-d to make sure they're at least 18 years old.

And Sale says he doesn't let anyone get away with breaking the law.

"One of my customers sent his son in to get some spray paint, I knew the boy, and I knew the daddy but I couldn't let him have it I made him go get his dad to do it," Sale said.

We also found out if you buy spray paint for a minor and they are caught doing something illegal with the paint you can get in trouble as well.