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Police Snag A Tagger
LA MESA -- La Mesa police used a special anti-graffiti database to track down and arrest a 17-year-old who caused $8,000 in damage during the last few months.
On Thursday detectives executed a search warrant in the 7100 block of Waite Drive after a several week-long investigation into numerous graffiti taggings throughout La Mesa. Police said the suspect began tagging the word “Boston” throughout La Mesa in early July. Since that time, the suspect vandalized property on 71 different occasions, causing damage estimated to be at $8,000 dollars.
During the execution of the search warrant, the 17 year-old suspect was arrested for a felony charge of vandalism.
This investigation was significantly helped through the use of Graffiti Tracker. Graffiti Tracker is a comprehensive, web-based computer database designed to assist investigators in identifying, tracking, prosecuting, and seeking restitution from graffiti vandals. La Mesa Police has been using the Graffiti Tracker system since February, 2011. The system works by photographing and downloading graffiti into the database, which automatically links and categorizes the graffiti. The database is available for all police agencies contracted to access it, and it allows investigators to link acts of vandalism to a potential suspect throughout the county.