The "Tracking and Automated Graffiti Removal System," (TAGRS) a pilot program launched in 2009 equips city graffiti clean-up crews with smart phones to take pictures of graffiti, and then upload them to police who can use the information to track and arrest vandals.
Recently 19 graffiti vandals were arrested in early February from throughout Los Angeles County, for causing more than $200,000 in damages, according to the LAPD thanks to information collected on the TAGRS database.
TAGRS will expand to LAPD's Harbor, Hollenbeck and Central Divisions, it is expected to be activated in all 21 divisions within one year.
TAGRS which originally started in Orange County has now expanded throughout Southern California. "The systems can talk to each other and share information among law enforcement," said Anne Tremblay an assistant city attorney and supervisor of the anti-gang section. "We've had successful investigations, arrests and prosecutions based on information from the database."
The total cost of the program is $345,000 over two years, last year the city spent about $10 million dollars on graffiti removal.
"Graffiti blights neighborhoods, devalues property and has no place in our communities." "By using smart phones to gather evidence, the LAPD will be able to track graffiti and apprehend the criminals who vandalize our city." said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
If you have been arrested for vandalism or know someone who has, please contact the Law Offices of David M. Wallin to speak with Santa Clarita criminal defense attorneys with a combined 50 years of criminal law experience representing hundreds of people charged with vandalism.