New anti-graffiti law goes into effect

PICO RIVERA When busted a tagger and the tagger's parents could be held liable for civil damages and have to pay from the crime.

Supervisor Gloria Molina led the effort to draft the law in response to the fatal shooting of Maria Hicks, who was killed Aug. 10, 2007, when she tried to stop a vandal from defacing a wall near her home in Pico Rivera.

Under the new law violators will have to reimburse the county for all graffiti-related costs. Officials say the goal is to hold graffiti vandals and their parents accountable.

Starting Thursday, taggers face a $1,000 fine and could be charged with felony vandalism. Their parents could face a lean on their property.

A six-month pilot program started in January in Pico Rivera and Whittier. Nearly 170 suspected taggers were arrested, about 130 those were minors. Slightly less than half of those minors arrested opted to go into an intervention program with their parents and have not been re-arrested.


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