News Flash

MCAO Latest News

Posted on: May 16, 2011

Prolific Phoenix Graffiti Tagger Indicted For Criminal Damage

PHOENIX, AZ (May 16, 2011) – William Barajas (DOB 3/10/1991) has been arrested by Phoenix Police and charged with one class 4 felony count of aggravated criminal damage and one class 5 aggregated count of criminal damage for numerous graffiti crimes. Barajas, who frequently uses the tag “MAWD,” confessed to over 300 acts of graffiti defacing 5,250 square feet of property and costing nearly 100 victims more than $5,500.00 in damage between October 2009 and January 2011. He faces a maximum sentence of 6¼ years in prison if convicted on both counts.

“Graffiti is a crime. It damages property and destroys the pride of the community. Each year, Graffiti Busters receives thousands of calls to remove this blight throughout the city. The Phoenix Police Department and the City of Phoenix are committed to combating this problem and arresting those who commit these crimes,” said Joseph G. Yahner, Acting Phoenix Police Chief.

Referrals of juvenile graffiti cases to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office have spiked 46% in the last five years, while referrals of cases involving possession of graffiti tools have more than tripled. The County Attorney typically files formal charges on roughly 90% of criminal damage case submittals (A.R.S. §13-1604), with resulting sentences ranging from probation to two years in prison or longer.

“Graffiti crimes victimize entire neighborhoods by defacing property and leaving a costly eyesore that degrades housing values and creates an environment that invites additional crime,” remarked Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “By aggressively prosecuting these crimes we intend to send a message to these so-called artists that they will pay a stiff price for their handiwork,” he added.

William Barajas was arrested earlier this month after he was observed doing graffiti on a pole in the area of 2700 W. Glenrosa Avenue in Phoenix. At the time, he was also wanted by Glendale Police for open burglary charges. After an interview with Glendale and Phoenix Police Detectives, Barajas was charged with 2 counts of conspiracy to commit 2nd degree burglary in Glendale in addition to the criminal damage charges. He was also charged with conspiracy to commit 2nd degree burglary in Phoenix.

Barajas is believed to be the most prolific graffiti tagger since Joel Delgado, aka “JUGS,” who was sentenced to prison last year.

###

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in MCAO Latest News

Prosecutor

What is a Prosecutor?

Posted on: June 25, 2020
Man Vaping

Vaping Warning Signs for Parents

Posted on: June 18, 2020
Opioids

Help Prevent Opioid Abuse at Home

Posted on: June 16, 2020
Sunset Over Canal and Homes

Keep Your Home Safe this Summer

Posted on: June 4, 2020
Looking through a car windshield at night. The lights are blurred.

Don’t Graduate into a DUI

Posted on: May 19, 2020
Happy Mothers Day

Honoring MCAO Moms

Posted on: May 8, 2020
COVID-19 Stimulus Check Scams

Stimulus Check Scams

Posted on: May 7, 2020
National Law Day 2020

It’s National Law Day

Posted on: May 1, 2020
Angela Andrews

Collaboration is Key

Posted on: April 30, 2020
Inspiration in the Face of Adversity

Inspiration in the Face of Adversity

Posted on: April 24, 2020
Heather Kirka

Charging Ahead and Working Together

Posted on: April 23, 2020
Census form on flag

We All Benefit When We Respond

Posted on: April 16, 2020
Brittany Hogard

Keeping the Wheels of Justice Rolling

Posted on: April 15, 2020
Person typing on computer keyboard

Be a Smart Online User

Posted on: April 13, 2020
Avoid Coronavirus Scams

COVID-19 Scam Awareness

Posted on: March 30, 2020

Community Outreach Highlights

Posted on: March 1, 2020
Allister with Female Staff

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Posted on: March 1, 2020
2020 Census Advertisement - Shape your Future, Start Here

YOU Count: Fill Out the Census Today

Posted on: March 1, 2020

Update On Petersen Investigation

Posted on: December 11, 2019

MCAO Honors Our Veterans

Posted on: November 8, 2019

Dion Earl Found Guilty on All Charges

Posted on: August 22, 2019

MCAO Launches Community Grants Webpage

Posted on: August 12, 2016

Update on Green Acre Dog Boarding Deaths

Posted on: September 22, 2014

National Geographic - Taboo

Posted on: August 31, 2012