County Attorney cracks down on graffiti vandals

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced Wednesday a new program aimed at graffiti vandals who prefer leaving their messages in spray paint rather than on paper or e-mail.

County Attorney Andrew Thomas said young offenders will be required to wear bright, orange T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan "Tagging Is a Crime," while they complete community work hours cleaning up neighborhoods.

Thomas said the juveniles involved in the program will also be required to attend classes stressing the importance of following the law.

First-time offenders participating in the program avoid the time and costs associated with court involvement.

Thomas said the public benefits from cleaned up neighborhoods stained with spray painted messages.