Suspect arrested in La Jolla graffiti spree

A man spray-paints a tarp-covered fence outside the former Jack in the Box on Pearl Street in La Jolla's Village on April 12.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Crime and public safety news and police blotter


A suspect was arrested the morning of April 12 after La Jolla’s Village was targeted with a rash of graffiti last week believed carried out by the same person at locations along Pearl Street and Fay Avenue.

Tarp-covered fences surrounding construction areas and vacant sites, along with trash cans and walls, were spray-painted with similar images and lettering.

Typically, names, logos, imagery and other characteristics in graffiti are cataloged so they can be tracked by the city of San Diego in hopes that they will lead to the culprit.

The suspect in this case was arrested in the 500 block of Pearl Street. The San Diego Police Department told the La Jolla Light that the man was uncommunicative, so a possible motive and whether the suspect may have a history of tagging were not yet known.

Graffiti sprayed on these construction tarps in La Jolla is believed to be part of a series of related tagging incidents.
Graffiti sprayed on these construction tarps in La Jolla is believed to be part of a series of related tagging incidents.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The city encourages people who see graffiti in progress to report it by calling 911.

“Do not confront the vandals. Although they may appear to be harmless, they may be carrying weapons,” according to the Street Division’s website. “The police will respond based on the priority of the crime compared to others for which they have calls at the time.”

Graffiti that already exists can be reported by calling (619) 527-7500 or through

Graffiti was reported at several locations in La Jolla on April 12, including on walls and trash receptacles.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

“City crews remove graffiti from city property usually within five days of receiving a report,” according to the Street Division. “City code compliance officers must notify private property owners of graffiti on their property and of their responsibility to remove it. Depending on the cooperation of property owners, it could take longer for graffiti to be removed from private properties.”

Vandalism in The Village also can be reported to the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District, which enhances city-provided services, including graffiti abatement.

MAD Manager Brian Earley said Enhance La Jolla, which administers the assessment district, is “working on a solution or at least how to mitigate the scars on our community” and is reporting graffiti to San Diego through the city’s Get It Done app.

“We are working with volunteers on a daily basis to [get] rid [of] these as soon as possible,” Earley said. He can be reached at (858) 444-5892.

Police blotter

Further details were unavailable from San Diego police, except where noted.

March 16

Rape: 7900 block Ivanhoe Avenue, 9:30 p.m. Police said an assault was reported involving two juveniles who know each other, though additional details were unavailable.

April 2

Vehicle break-in/theft: 400 block Marine Street, 3 p.m.

April 7

Fraud: 5400 block Caminito Bayo, 3:22 p.m.

Petty theft: 1000 block Agate Street, 10 p.m.

April 8

Residential burglary: 2000 block Via Ladeta, 6:47 p.m.

April 9

Felony grand theft: Ivanhoe Avenue East at Torrey Pines Road, 8:30 p.m.

April 10

Felony vehicle theft: 1300 block Nautilus Street, 12:37 p.m.

Felony possession of narcotic or controlled substance: 1300 block Nautilus Street, 1:48 p.m.

April 11

Felony vandalism: 7400 block La Jolla Boulevard, 8:40 p.m.

Felony vandalism: 7200 block Monte Vista Avenue, 10 p.m.

Vandalism: 7600 block Eads Avenue, 10:41 p.m.

April 12

Felony vandalism: 500 block Pearl Street, 10:45 a.m.

Felony vehicle theft: 5700 block La Jolla Boulevard, 8 p.m.

April 13

Petty theft: 7900 block Caminito del Cid, 2:39 p.m.

April 14

Commercial burglary: 800 block Silverado Street, 3:28 a.m.

Tampering with vehicle: 7400 block Draper Avenue, 7:28 a.m.

Battery: 5000 block La Jolla Boulevard, 1:50 p.m.

— Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon from police and other local reports.