Chalk outlines drawn on sidewalk: Scary threat or marketing campaign?

Chalk outlines on sidewalk rattle nerves in Beverly Grove

A series of body outlines painted and scrawled in chalk on the sidewalk on Fairfax Avenue in Beverly Grove grabbed the attention of residents and triggered a police investigation Tuesday afternoon.

The LAPD’s Wilshire Division began investigating the outlines as potential vandalism after getting nervous calls from bystanders and business owners, Sgt. Richard Askew said.

Authorities believe, however, that the outlines -- spaced 30 to 40 yards apart on Fairfax south of Melrose Avenue and drawn in paint, spray-paint and chalk -- are part of a local business’ marketing campaign.

“It’s those cookie-cutter outlines like you’d see in old police movies,” Askew said.

But pedestrians and store owners in the area didn’t know what to make of the outlines, Askew said.

The outlines have initials and a date written within them and red paint spattered around it that looks like blood, police said.

People called police wondering if the drawings were a threat or a message to a particular business or group of people. So police went to the area Tuesday to talk to the business they believed was responsible.

Askew declined to identify the business but said officers were going to ask that the drawings be removed.

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