Graffiti Tracker Nets First Big Bust in South Whittier

A high-tech system designed to curb graffiti in Unincorporated South Whittier was credited for today’s arrest of a local teen accused of several incidents of graffiti vandalism, Supervisor Don Knabe announced today.

Early this morning, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies, using documentation obtained from the Graffiti Tracker program, served a search warrant at an apartment in South Whittier and found both the primary suspect and paraphernalia that could have been used in the crimes. Deputies reported that the suspect, a 16 year old male and self-proclaimed member of the Whittier 13 gang, confessed to the crimes and was taken into custody. He is currently being held at the County’s Los Padrinos Juvenile Detention Center. The Sheriff’s Department will be seeking a felony complaint for vandalism with the District Attorney’s Office.

Before the ‘Graffiti Tracker’ came along, a bust like this wouldn’t have been possible because there was no way of determining which vandals were doing the most damage or how much damage they were actually responsible for, said Supervisor Knabe.

The Graffiti Tracker system was created to capture and store graffiti data. The system gives law enforcement personnel real-time, street-level intelligence that allows them to not only focus on the worst graffiti offenders and their damage, but also to monitor potential gang violence that is associated with the graffiti.

The system was originally put to use in the City of Carson several years ago and was brought to South Whittier in early 2006. Today’s arrest is the first major bust in South Whittier for graffiti vandalism since the program went online.