San Francisco is fighting back against graffiti and the criminals who tag buildings and overpasses.
District Attorney George Gascon and other city leaders announced Tuesday a grand jury has indicted seven of the city's worst graffiti vandals on dozens of felony counts.
According to the DA's Office, a total of 51 counts were filed against Tyler Ross, 27, known for vandalizing the city with Bart Simpson graffiti; and Jorge Coya, 38, and Connor Chavela, 19, for felony vandalism related to repeated acts of property damage over nearly three years.
Omar Clerkin, 24, Carlos Cruz, 25, Avery Sizelove, 23, and an unnamed suspect who has a bench warrant out for his arrest were indicted in a separate count for their roles in causing significant damage to a San Francisco restaurant, the DA's Office said.
Gascon said graffiti cleanup cost the city upwards of $20 million last year, not including what private business owners spent.
"It really wasn't gang graffiti, this is taggers," Gascon said. "But they work in sort of a loose confederation. A lot of those people challenge one another, they're trying to out-do each other."
Gascon said on average, small business owners pay $3,370 to remove a single incident of graffiti and bear the added costs associated with interruptions in their operations.
The case remains an open and active investigation, the DA's Office said. Anyone who has information about prolific graffiti vandals should contact SFPD via the department's anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444 or text TIP411 with "SFPD" at the start of the message.