Thursday, January 13, 2011
Prolific Taggers Arrested NR11025sfLos Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department detectives, assisted by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Union Pacific Railroad Police Department, arrested two well-known, prolific taggers on Jan. 13, 2011, after conducting morning raids in Norwalk, South Gate, and Long Beach. Aldo and Francisco Montoya, whose tags are “ALDOE” and “RUSIA” respectively, are responsible for losses estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Detectives released three photos of vandalism on a building at 117 Winston Street in downtown Los Angeles, a railroad trestle near the 710 freeway in Bell Gardens and a Clear Channel billboard near the Grove in the Fairfax area.
“Anyone familiar with downtown Los Angeles will recognize these tags,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, who heads up detectives for LAPD’s Central Police Station. “We believe that these vandals have cost the public and businesses thousands of dollars.”
After first serving a search warrant at the brothers’ parent's home in Norwalk, detectives found and arrested Aldo at a home in South Gate. Francisco was taken into custody in Long Beach. During the arrests, detectives found hundreds of slap tags and spray tips, along with paint cans and sketch books displaying their markings. Also seized were several hundred Ecstasy pills and high-grade marijuana.
Francisco and brother Aldo, 26, are part of a larger tagging crew called On the Run, or OTR. Francisco was booked for possession for sale of Ecstasy and his bail was set at $50,000. Aldo was booked for possession for sale of marijuana and his bail was set at $40,000. Both brothers were already on probation for prior convictions.
Repair estimates to paint out the RUSIA marking on the 710 Freeway rail trestle are at $25,000, due to the cost of shutting down the freeway and train crossing during the repairs.
Reporters can find more examples of the brothers’ tags displayed publicly on FLICKR by searching for RUSIA OTR.
Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD’s Central Detectives at 213-972-1245. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to www.LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.