Graffiti Vandal Sweep
June 21, 2010
On June 16 and 17 the San Bernardino Police Department conducted a citywide enforcement program targeting graffiti vandals known as "taggers". The program was prepared by the San Bernardino Graffiti Task Force and was executed with assistance from several San Bernardino Police specialized units and members of the San Bernardino Sheriff's Office, San Bernardino County Probation, and the San Bernardino Unified School District Police Department.
On June 16 the teams targeted a group of graffiti vandals responsible for over $180,000.00 in damage since January 2010. This group specialized in high volume, low quality graffiti and had been under investigation for over a year. In the early morning hours approximately 50 officers simultaneously served search warrants on eight residences where these vandals resided. Two adults were arrested for felony vandalism, another adult was arrested for cultivation of marijuana and felon in possession of a firearm, and another adult was arrested for an outstanding warrant. Graffiti tools and evidence linking subjects to the felony vandalism were also recovered. This evidence resulted in the filing of four additional felony vandalism cases. Four handguns, three shotguns, one high power rifle and narcotics were also confiscated.
On June 17 teams targeted an additional 34 locations where graffiti vandals lived. Thirteen subjects were arrested for charges including felony vandalism, possession of marijuana, cultivation of marijuana, burglary, outstanding warrants, felon in possession of ammunition, and probation violations. Additional warrants are being sought for subjects not located during the program.
The felony vandalism charge stemmed from a crime where the juvenile suspect did $2000.00 worth of graffiti vandalism to a local church. The Graffiti Task Force had been investigating this crime for 6 months. The burglary case was discovered when officers located expensive electronic equipment stolen from a local high school. School Police responded and assumed responsibility for the investigation. Tools of graffiti and narcotics were also confiscated.
The City of San Bernardino has zero tolerance for graffiti vandalism. Those vandals doing the most extensive damage will be documented, located, arrested, and prosecuted. Juveniles can expect detention time, formal probation, restitution to victims, community service, and loss of their driver’s license. Adults can expect detention in County Jail or State Prison, probation or parole, and restitution to victims. Parents of graffiti vandals can be held financially responsible for the damage attributed to their child.
The Graffiti Task Force can be reached at 909-384-5658 and clean up may be requested at 909-384-5250.