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City law requires businesses to lock up tools of the graffiti trade

Costa Mesa police have teamed up with the chamber of commerce to stop vandalism before it starts. Under a beefed-up anti-graffiti ordinance that the the City Council passed in October and went into effect in January, businesses have to limit access to popular tools of the graffiti trade: spray paint, marking pens and etching tools, among others.

According to the ordinance, spray paint cans must be locked up so that only store employees can take them off shelves and only people 18 or older can buy them. Etching tools -- anything with a sharp edge that can carve, according to police -- have to be monitored around the clock while the store is open. Security cameras can cover that requirement, said police Officer Jason Chamness.

Police point to Ganahl Lumber on Bristol Street as a shining example of how to limit access to products without hurting the bottom line.

"It's not a big deal, there's no one around that wants graffiti," said Brad Satterfield, the store's general manager. "Customers understand why we're doing it and what we do."

To taggers, Ganahl Lumber is a virtual Fort Knox. Not only is spray paint locked up, so are construction marking pens and etching tools such as tile cutters.

Read the full story: Crackdown on graffiti starts with businesses


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-- Joseph Serna, Daily Pilot / Times Community News

Comments () | Archives (9)

I hate graffiti. Hope this tougher law helps eliminate or reduce it. The etching is the worst. Losers who don't own property, etching into the windows of those who do. awful

A rather futile move, I say. First of all, there's a slew of graffiti artists (ok, and wannabe graffiti artists...) out there 18 and over. Also, many under-eighteeners can easily find someone of, ah, legal age to buy the stuff for them. And has it occurred to anyone that regular slap-on paint can be used?
Hey, I've got a slogan: 'When spray paint is outlawed, only outlaws will have spray paint'.

What is wrong with this country? This tactic only effects people who buy these items legitimately.

I'm reminded of the current state of the movie, music, video game industry. These geniuses decided it would be best to 'lock up' all their content with Digital Rights Management so it couldn't be pirated.

Well the pirates just remove the DRM and use restriction free. The only people that are burdened with the onerous DRM crap are the people who actually bought the stuff legally.

This isn't going to stop anyone. Ever heard of amazon.com? Yes they sell spray paint.... and deliver.... for free.

Los Angeles has had a similar law for some years now. All spray-paints are locked up at all stores. As with the no-fireworks laws, they will only become really effective when every city adopts such restrictions so that fireworks (and spray-paint) can't be bought and then "imported" into cities that prohibit them.

Frankly, I'd like the State to put in the same ban. It would save having to wait while the crazy-quilt of municipalities dithers for years before they finally adopt these ordinances.

Stupid is as stupid does! All this will do is drive the cost of products sold in these stores up. Who do you think will be paying for closed circuit cameras to watch cans of paint...it certainly won't be the store.

This might work as well as bringing the ephedrine behind the counter at drug stores which we already know hasn't done a thing to stem the meth problem in the US.

It would make better sense to increase the fines for these crimes and actually enforce the laws instead of letting politicians handle it instead. All you get then is more laws!

Graffiti, the art of the democrat party voters. liberals created them, and we get stuck with the clean-up bill.

And now more people making an effort to have regular productive jobs have another law they might break while in a rush to do their jobs effectively and serve customers.

It's already a crime to vandalize. Now it's a crime to forget to lock an extra padlock if you work at a hardware store! This is supposed to help?

How is it that we continue to pay fat salaries to law makers if THIS is the fruit of their labors?

People are worried that we need more cops ... well now the cops have ANOTHER absolutely stupid "crime" they're supposed to worry about. How can they fight real crimes when they're encumbered with things like this?

You are fighting an uphill battle...it's cancer, and there is no cure.

graffiti is not a crime. tagin is...and you people need to reconize that the only way to stop it is embrace it.build stuff that we can spray on so we dont have to do it illeagally. why do big corperations get to put up there adds all over without are permission while we do the same and us graffiti artist get yelled at.at least are art is more fun to look at than their logos which are everywhere and the same thing .


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About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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