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Vandals Deface Priceless Manteca Murals

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Vandals Deface Priceless Manteca Murals

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MANTECA, Calif. (CBS13) ― Manteca residents are concerned after vandals ruin priceless community murals with spray paint.

Manteca Mural Society members have already cleaned part of the area, but it will take three days to finish cleaning up the work of vandals.

"It said 'manta' and an obscenity," says one member.

That's just one of three phrases vandals spray painted on murals that stand tall in the heart of downtown Manteca.

"You know, just sadness, to think someone would do this to something we feel means a lot to the community," says Norm, a Manteca Mural Society member.

Six years ago, the Manteca Mural Society rose well over a $100,000 to transform blank walls into the nine large paintings - telling the story of local history and community pride.

"We're using the most gentle things we can," members say.

Now, members meticulously scrub away, trying not to damage the artwork. But as every inch of the mural is erased, clean up costs climb.

"We're estimating that with the three of them it could be $10, 000," says one member.

Unfortunately, most of that money could have gone towards additional artwork.

Residents aware of the ongoing graffiti problem but say murals have always been off limits to criminals until now.

"I don't think its taggers, I think its someone who has a grudge against the city," says one Manteca resident.

The artists will have to be paid to come back out to fix the mural, many out of the area. Meanwhile, the police department is offering a $1000 reward.

(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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