San Jose

San Jose Considers Rewarding People for Catching or Identifying Vandals

San Jose officials, who say they don’t have enough officers to crack down on blight, are considering offering rewards to people who catch or identify vandals.

The City Council has been trying for some time to address graffiti and illegal dumping, but now it says residents need to step up.

Both problems are easy to spot – and they’re just about everywhere with people discarding suitcases, furniture and even clothes.

The owner of the popular Fourth Street Pizza Company in downtown San Jose says it’s simply bad for business.

"When you go to a place and there's graffiti all over the front of it, you know?" Josh McGhie said. "You might think twice about frequenting that establishment."

Councilman Johnny Khamis decided to beef up the city's enforcement by introducing a Report for a Reward incentive, as it is called.

"It's a $1,000 reward that gives us information leading to the arrest of a person caught dumping or doing graffiti tagging," he said.

To that, Mayor Sam Liccardo added: "I would expect that the reward will be in place regardless of where in the city of San Jose the crime is being committed."

Everyone involved with the initiative said they understand how difficult it might be to get people to turn others in – even anonymously.

"Anything that can put a stop to some of that, a little bit, to me is a good thing," McGhie said.

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