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PORTLAND -- A new style of graffiti is popping up in Northeast Portland, and police aren't giggling about it.

Tags of The Tickle Monster have been popping up on road signs and utility boxes in neighborhoods and business districts. But as silly as the graffiti may seem, police want to catch the culprit.

Graffiti costs thousands of dollars at the expense of taxpayers, small business owners, and community members, said Sgt. Pete Simpson.

The messages have been seen on a utility box near the Fred Meyer Hollywood and on road signs in the Concordia and Beaumont Wilshire Neighborhoods. Quite simply, they say The Tickle Monster.

Sgt. Simpson noted that this is likely the work of a tagger and not believed to be gang-related. The case is under investigation.

SLIDESHOW: Tickle Monster pics

We encourage people to report any graffiti... and get it removed as quickly as possible, Simpson added.

Anyone with information about this case or other graffiti incidents is encouraged to submit a report through the Portland Police Bureau's Graffiti Abatement Program website or calling them at 503-823-5860.

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