Raul Moreno of Santa Ana was arrested thanks to surveillance video.
Police said the footage shows Moreno walking along the north sidewalk of 4th Street in September and engraving the moniker of his tagging crew into the windows of five businesses.
"This is our business district. These are all plate glass windows. That one specific night that the video is referencing is in excess of $15,000 in damage," said Santa Ana Police Department Corp. Anthony Bertagna.
Since the graffiti can't be cleaned up, police want Moreno to write the businesses an apology.
Authorities teamed up with school police, who then used social media to identify Moreno.
Official say Moreno has been linked to numerous other crimes.