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San Francisco Suing Alleged Tagger For $50K Instead Of Seeking Criminal Charges

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- San Francisco is using a new tactic in its continuing battle against graffiti by suing the alleged taggers.

"We paint it over, they come right back again," Rachel Gordon with San Francisco Public Works said.

The city is spending about $20 million a year in its losing battle with graffiti.  One alleged tagger is being sued in civil court, where it's easier to get a conviction, and where she will have to pay $50,000 if convicted.

"This is just another tool in the city's bag to deal with vandalism," Gordon said.

The suspect goes by the name "Cozy TerrY" and might not have helped herself by posting wall tags on social media, with a woman officials believe is her in action.

"It gives you a rush.  Once you do it, it's like, hey man, I'm here.  When you were little you'd write on your desk in pencil, 'James was here,'" a former tagger told KPIX 5.

Police say 90 percent of tags in San Francisco are from the same people.

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