Graffiti art is one thing. But tagging is a major blight in Los Angeles. The city spends $10 million a year to paint over gang graffiti and tagging. Taggers especially like to target murals, which I first wrote about in 2007 for this story (Daily News). But a city funded program is hoping to catch taggers by using smartphones to catch these individuals or crews that vandalize city streets. So far 25 taggers have been arrested. From my story:
In Los Angeles, the streets talk.
Stuccoed walls in one neighborhood say the North Hollywood Locos are battling the North Hollywood Boyz. Sidewalks in Van Nuys tell pedestrians they’re in BVN territory. Traffic signs and tree trunks, freeway underpasses and even church properties, defaced with scrawled monikers, also speak.
“There’s no shortage of work,” said Luis Viramontes, a graffiti removal supervisor with New Directions for Youth, one of the nonprofit agencies that contracts with the city.
“It’s frustrating. Sometimes you finish painting over one wall, and the next day, there’s more tagging.”