The South Gate City Council has unanimously approved an increase from $300 to $500 for its graffiti reward program. Rewards are given for information that leads to conviction of graffiti vandals.
Creating graffiti is a misdemeanor in most cases. The maximum penalty for property damage of more than $1,000 but less than $5,000 is a $5,000 fine and one year in County Jail. Damage of more than $5,000 is considered a felony and can result in a $10,000 fine and a year in state prison, city officials said.
City officials said graffiti crimes have been on the rise recently, but it is hoped that the increase will provide greater incentive for residents to supply information. Over the past seven years of the reward program, a total of $7,800 has been rewarded to 26 residents.