MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – After part of the restaurant was vandalized, World Street Kitchen in Uptown offered an unusual reward to help find the culprit.

The World Street Kitchen’s formerly white catering van is now covered with spray painted letters.

“I wouldn’t even call this graffiti, it’s very shoddy work,” Sameh Wadi, owner of World Street Kitchen, said of the letters on the van.

Wadi decided he had to do something creative in order to get an answer on who tagged the van.

Something that defines his business model is connecting with eaters on social media.

So when he got tagged, he had a thought.

“All of a sudden it hit me, go to the streets,” he said.

He went on Facebook and Twitter offering “free burritos for life” to anyone who helps find the culprit.

“Within minutes I had two names,” Wadi said.

He knew he had to get creative because graffiti in Uptown is a problem that is very easy to identify.

An abandoned Wendy’s down the street got hit, too.

But the Uptown business is not alone in their frustration of this type of vandalism.

In fact, the city of Minneapolis says they are on a mission to clean up the graffiti.

The city launched an anti-graffiti campaign and a warning that if your property is hit, you have to pay.

But, the city also offers graffiti remover that works on certain surfaces for free at any Minneapolis fire station.

You can also get paint.

Wadi says they are contemplating how to clean their mess up.

He’s mainly hoping the right person will see the writing on the wall.

“If we can get him, I’ll be very happy to do my part and give burritos for life,” Wadi said.

Wadi says he thinks tipsters are more likely to talk with him, and he plans to go to police once he feels he’s gathered enough evidence.

As for the person who wins the burritos, Wadi says he will throw them a party or give them a chance to pass the food on to someone who’s homeless.

For more information, or tips on preventing graffiti, visit the city of Minneapolis online.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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