By Tara Molina

CHICAGO (CBS) — The street signs in an Avondale neighborhood are so mangled that drivers can’t see them, but that’s only the beginning.

Neighbors tell CBS 2’s Tara Molina it’s more than vandalism–it’s a gang tag–and it’s not the first time.

CBS 2 was in this exact same place about four months ago, when these signs looked just like this. The city replaced them only for this to happen again.

Gangs are damaging signs in Avondale to mark territory. (CBS)

Angel Torres says it is not a coincidence. Gangs are vandalizing the signs.

“It scares the people,” Torres said.

He’s called this neighborhood home for more than two decades. He’s a neighborhood watchman of sorts. He says he knows exactly who’s behind the vandalized signs.

“Gotta be gangs,” he said. “It looks nasty in the neighborhood.”

However, Chicago Police won’t confirm it.

The obvious question, from resident Kyle Behling: “If it is vandalism, I guess my question would be why?”

Torres said before gangs “were doing a lot of graffiti.” Now they bend street signs to mark the territory.

He says they’ve seen more police officers here recently, but he wants the neighborhood to send a sign of their own by getting these signs restored. He told Molina that the alderman, Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez, is supportive, but she was not available for comment.

Tara Molina