Phoenix Police Department’s Latest Graffiti Technology
Why is the technology necessary? Simply put, vandalism crime is rising.The County attorney from the Maricopa County Attorney’s office paints Delgado as the biggest graffiti vandal in Phoenix. In the last five years, vandalism crimes rose 67%. Phoenix Graffiti Busters, the people hired by government officials to remove graffiti, spent at least 2 million dollars doing just that. Neighborhoods affected by Delgado’s vandalism had to spend $20,000 cleaning his mess from walls, poles, signs, trash cans, greenery, sidewalks, and more (collaborating with Phoenix Neighborhood Services). Additionally, the Scottsdale Graffiti Removal Busters repainted 65,699 locations in the past year.
Twenty-seven-year-old Joel Delgado is notorious in Phoenix for his graffiti vandalism. Authorities apprehended him for his 20-month vandalism spree. He faces charges of criminal damage and aggravated criminal damage. Delgado confessed to vandalizing more than 300 locations in the area including dispensaries. He admitted that the adrenaline rush drove him to do this and he couldn’t stop. Delgado could spend six years and three months in prison, but the case is ongoing.
The method used to capture him wasn’t traditional investigations, but technological. It led to his arrest, and authorities hope this application can stop copycat vandals.
The Phoenix and Scottsdale Police Department received access to new technology specifically made to track vandalism history. Police officers can travel to the scene of the crime and search for clues. Information on the walls and the items surrounding the crime scene becomes evidence. Often, vandals leave a trademark on graffiti works, and it’s the same for all. Since it captured Delgado, the same technology will get more vandals off the streets. Phoenix Police will investigate all graffiti in the area, capture the people responsible, and charge them with both current and past crimes. It gets better, however. You can help.
Yes, citizens can participate in a vandal’s capture. With many Phoenix and Scottsdale residents owning a Smartphone, Android and iPhone users can download an app called MyPhoenix in the app store and take a photograph of graffiti. Press the submit button and the app does the rest. Specifically, the app transfers the photo to Phoenix and Scottsdale Neighborhood Services. It will enter the database so government officials can examine the area in person for additional clues.
If downloading an app isn’t your thing or it’s unfamiliar to you, the police department encourages citizens to take a phone call. Government officials offered a phone number related to this issue called the Graffiti Busters Hotline. Call 602-495-7014 24 hours a day to report vandalism incidents or suggest a paint job in an area.
In closing, the county attorney, Rick Romley, warns copycat and wanted vandals about the graffiti rise. He said if you [pursue] graffiti vandalism, our advanced technology from law enforcement will find and catch you. Caught criminals will receive punishment to the full extent of the law.