For Immediate Release
January 4, 2006
Contact: Christine Falvey
Tel: (415) 554-6920
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND POLICE DEPARTMENT WORK TOGETHER TO CAPTURE GRAFFITI VANDALS
Three Individuals Booked on Felony Vandalism Charges
San Francisco, CA – Two juveniles and one adult were arrested early yesterday morning after they were caught vandalizing sidewalks and buildings in the Mission area.
A street cleaning crewmember from the Department of Public Works (DPW) witnessed the three individuals at 4:45 a.m. vandalizing property along 15th Street near Treat Street in the City’s Mission District and immediately called police.
San Francisco Police Officers responded and arrested the three individuals on felony vandalism charges. They were positively identified by the crewmember and charged.
“We must work together to catch these criminals,” said Mohammed Nuru, Deputy Director of Operations at the Department of Public Works (DPW). “Taggers are out in the middle of the night destroying our City and we must remain vigilant. As citizens, we must report this activity. If you are a property owner, paint over graffiti immediately and graffiti taggers will get the message that this behavior won’t be tolerated,” he added.
DPW and the Police Department have documented the damage done to bolster the case and to provide a cost of the damage, so that the vandals can reimburse the City and private property owners.
“By observing a criminal act in progress and contacting police, our officers were able to make these arrests. When city staff work together in the spirit of community policing crime fighting is most effective,” said Police Chief Heather Fong.
The public is encouraged to call 911 if they witness graffiti vandals. They can call 28-CLEAN to report graffiti on public and private property.
In Fiscal Year 2004/2005, DPW received more than 10,000 calls from the public to report graffiti.
DPW alone spends $2 million annually to paint out graffiti on public property, and a 2001 Grand Jury report estimated that San Francisco spends a total of $20 million annually repairing the damage done by graffiti vandals.