FRUSTRATED business owners are reaching for their paint brushes and trestles to erase the damage left behind by serial graffiti taggers in the Bundaberg region.
Bundaberg police are now investigating whether a recent outbreak of tags on buildings around the CBD may be the work of the same person, or several people.
A series of crude spray-painted motifs greeted employees of Bundaberg Moores Homemakers when they turned up at the McLean St warehouse yesterday morning.
The tags had been scrawled across a side wall of the building in both paint and permanent marker.
A spokesman for the business said the wall would now have to be repainted at a significant cost to the owners.
"It's not going to be cheap, that's for sure," he said.
"It's not only us, though. It seems like half the town's been hit at the moment."
Tagging is a form of graffiti usually devoid of artistic merit in which a tagger will scrawl a unique signature - or tag - in permanent marker or spray-paint across buildings and public property.
Sharon Beath, owner of City Fit Gym in Woondooma St, said she had lost track of how many times the business had been targeted by graffiti.
Mrs Beath has spent more than a few weekends freshening up the building with a lick of paint to erase crude and sometimes offensive scrawls.
"Most businesses don't actually have the spare money to employ somebody to do it, so when it happens they have to get out there and do it themselves," she said.
"I'd like to see them come out and spend their own weekend fixing it up."
Mrs Beath was disappointed to find yet another graffiti tag on the back wall of the gym this week.
"When you've worked hard for your business, and you've poured your heart and soul into it, it can be a real hit," she said.
"It almost feels like a personal attack, the same as if somebody has graffitied your home."
Bundaberg Regional Council health and environment spokeswoman Mary Wilkinson said graffiti showed a disregard for the property of others and cheapened the appearance of the town.
"It's completely unacceptable," she said.
"It's not right for these people to go out and abuse somebody else's property because they think it's fun."
Bundaberg Criminal Investigation Branch officer in charge Detective Senior Sergeant Joe Hildred said police were investigating the matter and would prosecute offenders to the full extent of the law.
"We're looking at whether the incidents are connected in any way," he said.
"It is often something done in groups."
Snr Sgt Hildred said anybody with information about the matter should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.