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Anaheim store owner fined for window graffiti

February 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
An Anaheim store owner says she was fined after taggers carved into her windows and she couldn't afford to fix them.The store owner already pays hundreds of dollars every year to get rid of graffiti. Her store was tagged again just Sunday night.

Graffiti is a growing problem for the entire neighborhood.

As she points to new graffiti on the windows of her business, Rosa Bobbio said that she has been fighting taggers for years, but now City Hall is blaming her.

"It's not fair. I think I'm being victimized by the taggers and by the city too," said Bobbio.

Bobbio received a fine for $466 from the city of Anaheim, saying she is maintaining a public nuisance for allowing graffiti. She says she paints over it, but when taggers carve into the windows, she has to replace the entire window and she can't afford it.

"I was about to replace four windows, but they charged me $17,000, and that's a lot of money for me," said Bobbio.

The city of Anaheim is closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday, but in a statement to the Orange County Register, it said, "We do understand that is a lot of money, be we also have to encourage the quick removal of the graffiti because that is the best deterrent to more graffiti."

Bobbio, who has owned Century Upholstery for nearly 30 years, feels the city should arrest the taggers and not blame her.

"I'm trying to make a living, that's all. I pay my taxes so they should do their duties too," said Bobbio.

Alberto Calvillo lives next door and says it's a neighborhood problem. He painted over graffiti just Monday morning and says the city does nothing about it.

"The city told me it's not their trouble," said Calvillo, an Anaheim resident.

"What can I do? I'm supposed to come over and change all this glass. I don't have the money. Sometimes I feel like just leaving this place," said Bobbio.

Bobbio says she's going to hire an attorney to fight this. She says she's the victim and will not pay a penny to the city of Anaheim in fines.