Monday, May 16, 2022
Call Us

In the Last Month, Ukiah Experiences a Rise in Gang Graffiti and a Gang-Related Stabbing

A Surenos tag in Ukiah’s Downtown. The gang exhibits typical marking associated with the Surenos including X3, 13, S13 and three dots. [Picture by Matt LaFever]

Many members of the Ukiah community have noticed a marked rise in illegal graffiti over the last several weeks. Ukiah Police Department Lieutenant Andrew Phillips corroborated these observations saying his officers “have also noticed a large increase in gang-related graffiti in the past month.”

During the same time period the taggings have escalated, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office investigators have determined that a stabbing at a Ukiah apartment complex that resulted in serious injuries was gang-related, Captain Greg Van Patten told MendoFever.

Lieutenant Phillips explained the graffiti is associated with the notorious Norteños and Surenos criminal gangs. The majority of the new tags UPD has documented are associated with the Surenos (southerner), indicated by their being blue. Tags associated with the Norteños have also been observed, Lieutenant Phillips said, and are red in appearance.

According to Andrew Eway’s article on Corrections.comSureno Gang Graffiti: Understanding the Art of War” markings associated with the Surenos street gang include SUR, XII, X3, 13, Sur13, uno tres, trece, and 3-dots.

Demian Bulwa explored the rise of Norteños in the Bay area and described their gang marking including the number 14, the 14th letter of the alphabet “N”, XIV, X4, and four dots. The Norteños also are known to use symbols often associated with the Chicano Labor Movement such as machetes, sombreros, and the Aztec eagle.

The sudden rise in these tags “could mean any number of different things,” Lieutenant Phillips told us. The rise in graffiti could be “a visual sign that the area is claimed by a specific gang, or is a challenge to rival gangs.”

Historically, this sort of rise in tagging “either precedes an increase in gang-related crime or follows a gang-related crime,” Lieutenant Phillips explained. He did concede that it is “difficult to generalize the cause and effect nature of gang-related tagging. Meaning, to generally say that the tagging precedes other crimes is not always accurate.

Lieutenant Phillips did say that following the recent rise in graffiti, UPD has “not seen an increase [of crime] aside from the vandalism calls from the tagging itself.”

The crimes often associated with criminal street gangs, Lieutenant Phillips said, can range from vandalisms, thefts, drug use/sales, violence, and sexual assaults.” He went on to say, “the gang presence in Ukiah, as well as most other cities/towns, ebbs and flows and the noticeable activities, can be linked to an unending number of variables that change over time in the community.”

Regarding the November 28 stabbing, still, little information has been provided regarding the circumstances surrounding the incident. In the late morning, Captain Van Patten told us an adult male suffered life-threatening injuries after being stabbed by multiple subjects. The incident is gang-related, Captain Van Patten said but was unable to release more information due to the nature of the ongoing investigation.

If you have noticed a rise in gang-associated graffiti in your Ukiah neighborhood, comment below with a description of the location and the picture, so our community can understand where residents are most affected.



  1. Ukiah has lost it’s small town charm. Graffiti costs all of us who live and work in this community. It’s a public eyesore that’s here to stay and nothing can be done to stop it.

    • I am sorry, there will always be illegals from all aspects of the world not just the South and having small minded individuals that only focus on their beliefs instead of the big picture at hand then this will never stop. We were a republic country a couple years ago, and yet we still were dealing with the same problems then as we are now, I feel like politics are not the issue people who follow politics so religiously are. That is all sir have a great day!

  2. Intercessors unite and stand in the gap for our county of Mendocino. Please fast and pray in unity for the biblical tearing down of strongholds on December,17th, 2021. And every 3rd Friday of every month! Please write it on your calendar.

    2 Chronicles 7:14
    1 Timothy 2:5

  3. Please baby Jesus strike those down who do not see what I see, all we need to do is think like me baby lord , and look like me and have a big truck and a red neck like me baby savior!!! Amen 🙏🏿 and I’ll see you in the morning, ohh and don’t forget no breakfast baby buddha.

  4. Thank you Ted Kennedy, “Tip” O’Neal, and the Democratic majority & RINOs in Congress who gave us the Immigration Reform Act in 1965 — the gift that keeps on giving.

    I agree with Local: Prayer and fasting is how you battle demons. The Mother of God said the same thing at Fatima Portugal 104 years ago. Pray the Rosary!

  5. Well god almighty mother of Mary the Holy Ghost of days gone by and all those days with out eating processed food self suffering to starve the inner demons and all the immigrants past present and future. Let’s hit the nearest church together Mr. Bill , Local and Me Baggins with a McRib sitting in the middle, bet the two of end up fighting each other for it in the name of the almighty baby hamburger. WOW !!! I’m now enlightened, thank you sister Christian ho ho ho

  6. There is a significant rise in the Gang Culture in our community and we have only ourselves to blame. this has less to do with “Immigration status” and more about our prison policies of past and upcoming in California…. we are reaping what we have sown for the past decades and now our youth idolize and look up to all those individuals we sent down the prison pipeline, how did you expect them to return to our community? as fine upstanding citizens that have been reformed!? they fed back to our Communities with ties to the gang culture that stems from these institutions. yet we have removed any semblance of community values and youth programs from our deflated little county and have found other ways to prop up our social services and board of supervisors while patting ourselves on the back for bilking Sacramento for numerous grants and funds to keep our crumbling Redwood Empire in community based jobs that keep the lights on. what else do the youth of our county have to do? any youth programs actually helping these kids become productive citizens? or are they just profiting off them til they become adults eligible for the prison pipeline…. Wake up Mendocino! the kids are not all right!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Educator🔸Reporter for KMUD/ Redheaded Blackbelt/Founder of Cold Case Mendocino🔹Local News Junkie

Today's News

How Can I Support MendoFever?

News from the Week

%d bloggers like this: