11 Arrested by Multi-agency Graffiti Taskforce. Wanted for over 1600 criminal graffiti vandalisms

The latest efforts by a multi-agency graffiti task force have resulted in 11 arrests in eight cities and communities at 24 locations in southwest Los Angeles County. 

Eight graffiti vandals were arrested Wednesday for causing over $100,000 in damages to Metro buses, rails, and facilities, in addition to schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District and neighboring communities. Three others suspects were arrested for unrelated charges during the 24-location search warrant and probation search operation. 

The arrests were made in the cities of Los Angeles, El Segundo, Inglewood, Gardena, Hawthorne, Huntington Park, South Gate, and Torrance. 

On July 5, 2011, a taskforce was formed to target vandals that have damaged the school systems within the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s transit system. The taskforce includes the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Unified School District Police, Los Angeles County Probation Department, and a cadre of twenty civilian volunteers with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. 

During the Wednesday, July 20th operation, officers from several additional police agencies also assisted in the service of search warrants, including police officers from El Segundo, Gardena, Hawthorne, Los Angeles, and Torrance police departments. 

Search warrants and probation searches of 24 residences and other locations within Los Angeles County. 

• 11 suspects arrested, one of whom was a juvenile 

• Numerous suspects were additionally charged with possession of vandalism tools 

• One father of a graffiti vandal was arrested for possession of marijuana for sales 

• A family member was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor 

• An arrest was made at a home next to a search warrant location when a marijuana grow house was found 

• Simulated handguns were found 

• Stolen property was recovered 

Eight suspects were arrested for felony vandalism: 

Anissa Gonzalez, 19-year old Hispanic female from El Segundo 

Emanuel Gutierrez, 20-year Hispanic male from Inglewood 

Christopher Alamarez, 19-year old Hispanic male from Huntington Park 

Giovanny Franco, 22-year old Hispanic male from Torrance 

Loane Ruiz, 21-year Hispanic male from Inglewood 

Gustavo Marquez, 19-year old Hispanic male from Gardena 

John Hollenbeck, 18-year old Hispanic male from South Gate 

A 17-year old Hispanic male juvenile from South Gate 

Suspects arrested during probations searches: 

Guisseppe Mejia, 21-year old Hispanic male from Los Angeles, arrested for cultivation of a controlled substance 

Michael McKinley, 20-year old Hispanic male from Hawthorne, arrested for possession for sales of a controlled substance 

Alicia Garibaldi, 19-year old female Hispanic teenager from South Gate, arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. 

The communities and victims where the warrants and probation searches were conducted, and/or damaged by graffiti included the cities of Bell, El Segundo, Gardena, Hawthorne, Huntington Park, Inglewood, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Torrance, South Gate, Whittier (unincorporated), as well as Metropolitan Transportation Authority property. 

Sheriff’s Metro Transit Deputy David Anguiano stated the tagging crew “ASC”, or “Art Sex Crime” has been in existence for approximately eight years and is responsible for over 1600 acts of vandalism throughout our local communities and freeways. ASC became the focus of an investigation after the law enforcement “TAGRS” database highlighted a trend of damages occurring on Metro’s Green Line light rail system. A more detailed investigation revealed the crew had also significantly damaged the surrounding communities. 

Sheriff's Metro Transit Sergeant Chris Meadows stated the collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies and new technology such as the graffiti databases “TAGRS” and “Graffiti Tracker” have significantly advanced law enforcement’s ability to connect vandalism damage to the criminal vandals who do damage. The software enables investigators to paint a clear picture for the district attorney and the justice system to ensure that criminal graffiti vandals are held accountable for their actions. 

If criminal vandals want to gain “fame and notoriety” by tagging and damaging hundreds of businesses and freeways, they need to understand that law enforcement is going to extraordinary lengths to ensure it now costs them significant jail time and restitution (having to pay to repair the damage). Each act of “tagging” adds jail time and monies they will have to repay. Suspects unable to pay restitution, are commonly held on formal probation subject to “search and seizure” by law enforcement for years. 

Lieutenant Amando Farias, Los Angeles Unified School Police, stated the information sharing between the agencies in the taskforce has led to identifying over forty vandals who will be held responsible for their actions. Each year the LAUSD school system sustains millions of dollars in vandalism damages. Their officers take this crime seriously and arrest hundreds of suspects each year for vandalism. 

To see Daily Breeze newspaper coverage of the task force operation, click on the link below. (Note: This link is provided for your convenience. The LASD does not endorse products or services) 
South Bay tagging crew gets tagged 

For more information about what the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and partnering police agencies are doing to combat graffiti vandalism, visit: 

LA’s Most Wanted Taggers 

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department 

Report graffiti vandalism and information about graffiti vandals to your local sheriff’s station or police department in order to have the damages documented, investigated, and added to the tracking databases. To remain Anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org 

To Have Graffiti Removed: 

Graffiti Reporting and Removal 
Graffiti Hotline at (800) 675-4357 


FOR GRAFFITI REMOVAL in the unincorporated areas of the Los Angeles County, contact the LA County Dept. of Public Works hotline at (800) 675-4357. The graffiti removal hotline is available with live operators 24 hours a day seven days a week. The LACoDPW strives for a 48-hour response when calls are received via the hotline. In order to have a response in a timely manner, please answer the brief questions the operators may ask you. Often questions may be related to graffiti on property which is not the responsibility of the County of Los Angeles. For example, information is offered for the agency providing graffiti removal services to the following: Parks and Recreation, Caltrans, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Metrolink, United States Post Office, Southern California Edison, and the 88 Cities within the County of Los Angeles. 

Sergeant Chris Meadows 
Sheriff’s Transit Services Bureau 
Homeland Security Division 
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department 

Leroy D. Baca, Sheriff