SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – San Francisco’s District Attorney announced 52 felony indictments against seven of the city’s most prolific taggers on Tuesday.
Police say these seven men are responsible for a majority of the city’s tagging. Just one tag can cost a business owner thousands of dollars. The annual cost of graffiti removal for the city’s public work’s department is about $20 million.
Sgt. Martin Ferreira is the city’s Graffiti Abatement Officer.
“It’s just the prolific nature of each individual involved,” he says.
“They do work in sort of a loose confederation,” says SF District Attorney George Gascón. “A lot of these people challenge one another, try to out-do each other.”
Tyler Kent Ross is one of the seven men indicted. He allegedly managed to out-do even himself, with his notorious Bart Simpson drawings.
Police have video evidence on each suspect and say they are taking it straight to a grand jury.
Ferreira believes police have a strong case.
“The fact that we really established their tags this time around, and showcased lots and lots of evidence that connect them with multiple crimes,” he says. “We just hope that it has a good impact that people know that they’re not as anonymous as they believe, and we do follow up and we investigate thoroughly.”