Police in San Jose have arrested a San Francisco man they say is a prolific Bay Area tagger known by the moniker “Girafa.” Steven Free, 30, was arrested Tuesday after police from San Jose and San Francisco searched his home on Cabrillo Street in the city’s Outer Richmond neighborhood. An investigation by the San Jose police graffiti enforcement unit linked Free to 10 felony cases of tagging in the city, according to Officer Jermaine Thomas. Each one features a cartoon depiction of a giraffe and a tagging moniker of “Girafa.” Police estimate those 10 acts of vandalism cost a combined $40,000 in damage. While investigating the taggings, San Jose police found pictures of similar Girafa graffiti on social networking sites. Officers said Free has committed vandalism acts in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties, as well as other locations in Santa Clara County. Free is considered “one of the most prolific taggers in the Bay Area,” according to San Jose police. He was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail.
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