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Friday, April 15, 2011

'Girafa' Pleads Guilty to San Jose Graffiti Charges, Fined $38,000

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 2:08 PM

click to enlarge A guilty conscience?
  • A guilty conscience?

San Francisco resident Steven Free, known by his graffiti writer's moniker of Girafa, has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of felony and misdemeanor vandalism in San Jose and agreed to pay $38,000 in fines.

San Jose cops arrested Free in 2009 on 10 felony vandalism counts. As part of his plea deal, his conviction was reduced to two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts. In addition to the hefty fine, Free will be placed on three years of probation.

San Francisco cops have investigated the rash of giraffe-themed graffiti across the city, and told us in 2009 that Free, who at the time lived in the Outer Richmond, was a suspect. The giraffes are beloved works of art to many graffiti aficionados but anathema to police and public agencies, including Caltrans.

Next time you see one, stop to appreciate it for a moment: In light of his legal troubles, Girafa's progeny might be an endangered species.

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Peter Jamison


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