Graffiti Vandal Tagged With 2nd Conviction

A San Fernando High School senior was convicted Monday of graffiti vandalism for the second time in less than two months for spray-painting the wall of a church, according to the city attorney's office.

Omar Vargas, 18, pleaded no contest to one count of vandalism and was found in violation of his probation stemming from his first conviction on Feb. 11.

He was sentenced to 120 days in jail and is forbidden to associate with other graffiti artists, or taggers, after his release. Vargas is also not allowed to possess spray-paint cans or can tips, etching tools or markers, said Deputy City Atty. Debra Siedorf.

Vargas was arrested Thursday just after midnight in the 14000 block of Sherman Way. Police said they stopped Vargas after he tried to run from them for no apparent reason. When they questioned him, police discovered that the name of a tagger crew and Vargas' tag name had been spray-painted on the wall of the nearby New Harvest Christian Fellowship Church and an adjacent flower shop, according to Mike Qualls of the city attorney's office.

A June 22 hearing is set to determine the restitution Vargas must pay to the owners of the property.

Vargas' first conviction occurred after he was found spray-painting the wall of an underpass on the 8000 block of Haskell Avenue, according to the city attorney's office. He served 10 days in jail.

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