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San Gabriel Valley Digest

San Gabriel : Graffiti Tool Ordinance

April 25, 1993

Hoping to slow the spread of graffiti, the City Council last week tentatively approved a law limiting the right of minors to possess or purchase the tools most frequently used to deface property.

The ordinance prohibits people under 18 in public places from possessing spray paint, broad-tipped markers or glass-etching tools unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian or are engaged in a project for school or work.

The law also bars any person from selling--or even lending--such items to juveniles. To deter theft, merchants would have to keep the restricted tools in a place inaccessible to the public.

In supporting the measure, Lorraine Morrison, a representative from the West San Gabriel Valley Assn. of Realtors, said the cost and inconvenience of the new law to businesses would be offset by reductions in theft, graffiti and cleanup up costs.

In a report to the council, Police Chief David A. Lawton said the measure would allow officers to cite offenders and to confiscate implements used to deface property.

He said juveniles accounted for 90% of arrests for graffiti in the city between Jan. 1, 1992, and March 31, 1993.

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