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Graffiti vandals or their parents pay for their criminal activities in Chicago

Graffiti in Chicago
Graffiti in ChicagoPhoto by Scott Paulson

Graffiti vandalism on CTA rail cars has been a costly and time-consuming concern for Chicago. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office announced that the city is now going after the vandals and their parents to pay for the damage caused by the graffiti taggers, according to a Chicago Tribune report on Tuesday. The parents are being hunted down to pay if the offending vandal is underage.

The effort includes thousands of cameras on CTA property. The cameras are placed to catch the vandals in their devious act of defacing the city’s property. After being identified by the cameras, if the offender is not of legal age, the parents will be held responsible for the actions of their criminal children.

In March, the CTA proceeded with four lawsuits against parents of minors for more than $13,109. The four lawsuits are against the parents or legal guardians of eight minors – aged 14-to-17. All of the taggers have been charged with misdemeanor criminal defacement of property. Another lawsuit was filed against an adult. The adult offender needs to pay the CTA $3,536. Additionally, the adult who was caught must complete an unspecified number of community service hours. One pending felony case against an adult, who is a serial offender, is being sought for $14,269 in damages.

So far in 2014, according to ABC, police have arrested 60 persons for graffiti crimes. The graffiti has been put on CTA property. Besides the CTA trains, graffiti has been put on the CTA’s buses and on the property located at the CTA stations.

To combat the graffiti-tagging crime and to catch those who still deface the property, the CTA’s project of installing thousands of cameras has gone on for the past three years. Those cameras are strategically placed on trains and buses as well as at CTA stations. 830 cameras were also installed on some older rail cars owned by the CTA.