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Good Samaritan steps in to fix Anaheim shop owner's vandalized windows

February 23, 2010 |  5:16 pm

Rosa Bobbio said she’d fight the city of Anaheim rather than pay a graffiti-related fine. Now city officials say she won’t have to.

After taggers scraped into the windows of her upholstery shop in late 2009, Bobbio was told by Anaheim to get her windows fixed.

Bobbio, who takes a bucket and brush to cover the spray paint that taggers regularly scrawl across her walls, said she couldn’t afford to replace the windows. After the etchings remained for months, the city sent Bobbio fines and fees of $466.66. Bobbio rebelled.

“I told them, 'I’m not gonna pay this fee. I do whatever it takes. It’s not right. If you want to take me to jail, I go to jail.' That’s what I told them,” said Bobbio, who has owned Century Custom Upholstery on South East Street for decades.

But then officials of a Tustin-based graffiti removal business heard about Bobbio’s plight. On Tuesday, WKRP Services began sanding the graffiti off the glass and polishing the windows to sparkling new, and is set to place protective film over her windows Wednesday.

The job, estimated to cost about $1,000, will be performed for free, said Mike Speakman of WKRP Services.

Now that the windows are being fixed, the city has waived the fine. “We’re just glad that we could help Rosa with this issue,” said Anaheim spokeswoman Ruth Ruiz, adding that it is not uncommon for the city to waive a fine once the offending damage has been cleared.

The improvements and protection will make dealing with future glass vandalism easier and cheaper, Bobbio said, but it won’t address the root of the problem.

“What is my guarantee that [the taggers] are not going to come back? “ she said. “There’s no guarantee.”

-- Amina Khan