Vandals leave mark on Mission district

On Wednesday night, vandals armed with cans of red and black spray paint descended on the Mission district, leaving their tags on buildings along 24th Street from Potrero Avenue to Mission Street.

“There were two sets of tags on 24th Street,” said Christine Falvey, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Department of Public Works, which came out Friday to paint over the graffiti. “There are a whole bunch of black tags and then a whole bunch of red tags, so it seemed like these two guys were following each other.”

DPW workers, who labored to remove the graffiti before The City’s annual Carnaval Parade and Festival, also took pictures of the tags and gave them to the police.

Mohammed Nuru, DPW deputy director of operations encouraged the public to call 911 if they witness taggers in action.

Nuru also highlighted The City’s new Graffiti Rewards Fund program, which provides $250 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of graffiti vandals. The program is funded through the collection of fines and penalties levied against other graffiti offenders.

“This is criminal behavior and taggers need to be aware that The City, the courts and the community will not tolerate this behavior,” Nuru said.

In 2007, police made 238 graffiti arrests, an increase from the 139 arrests made the previous year, according to city data. A 2000-01 civil grand jury report estimated the total cost to The City for graffiti damages and removal at $22 million — excluding the costs private property owners in San Francisco pay for such damage.

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