"It just ruins the look of our town. It's not art, it's vandalism," said Shirley Merritt, who has a booth at an antique store that was tagged recently.
Police believe some children are doing it and for now there's no reason to think the graffiti is gang-related. But a gang intelligence officer is researching it, said LaTresha Woodruff, spokeswoman with the Conway Police Department.
Some merchants who were tagged did not want to be interviewed on camera or have their businesses shown, out of fear for retaliation.
One downtown worker said vandals tagged a wall a second time within 24 hours after that worker painted over the first tagging.
That person did not want to be interviewed on camera but she did say some merchants are thinking about installing security cameras.
Woodruff said police started getting vandalism reports a few months ago.
In one recent case, police found several spray paint cans, Woodruff said, adding technicians are working to see if they can lift fingerprints off those cans.
No one, so far, has been cited.
Tagging is considered criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, and carries a fine of up to $1,000 or possibly one year in jail, depending on the extent of the damage, Woodruff said.