Graffiti vandal ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restituti - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Graffiti vandal ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A juvenile who used spray paint, permanent markers and etching tools to tag at least 20 different locations on Metropolitan Transit System property was ordered Thursday to pay $14,710 in restitution to pay for the damage.

In addition to restitution, a Superior Court judge also sentenced the juvenile - whose name was withheld - to one year in a short-term offenders program.

The vandal's tags were identified by Graffiti Tracker, a web-based system that helps identify, track, prosecute and seek restitution from graffiti vandals.

"Vandals need to understand that we have the tools to catch them and make them pay," said Paul Jablonski, chief executive officer of MTS. "Vandals cause more than $1 million worth of damages each year to the trolley system alone. We hope Graffiti Tracker helps us substantially reduce that amount by successfully prosecuting vandals."

All cities and San Diego County participate in Graffiti Tracker, according to MTS. The system has analyzed more than 2.7 million photos and helped lead to the arrests of 2,721 vandals and assisted agencies in collecting nearly $4.9 million in restitution.

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