Columbus Cracking Down On Most Wanted Graffiti Artists

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With warmer weather coming, city prosecutors on Wednesday were preparing to go on the offensive against graffiti artists.

Graffiti vandalism is costing $12 billion a year nationwide to clean up, CrimeTracker 10's Angela An reported.

The city has highlighted four of Columbus' most wanted taggers.

"This is the one that we're really trying to get; his name is Kyle Lamblez," said Bill R. Hedrick, assistant city prosecutor. "He is now wanted for his third graffiti offense. He's actually moving from one safe house to the next, trying to stay one step ahead of the police."

SLIDESHOW: Columbus' Most Wanted Graffiti Artists | WEB EXTRA: City Attorney Newsletter (PDF) | SPECIAL SECTION: CrimeTracker 10

Lamblez, 24, faces charges of graffiti, possession of criminal tools, and possessing an open container. His last known address was on Worthington Club Road in Westerville.

The city's other most wanted graffiti taggers are Matthew Giaimo, Andrew Jeffries and Julian Menaged.

Giaimo, 20, faces charges of graffiti and possession of criminal tools and was last known to be living in the Kent, Ohio area.

Jeffries, 25, is charged with graffiti. He was last known to be living on Pontiac Street in Columbus.

Menaged, 22, is charged with graffiti and possession of criminal tools. His last known address was on Westview Avenue in Columbus. 

"If you don't come to court, we'll bring your profile up, post on our Web site, Facebook, in our newsletter," Hedrick said. "We're going to do what we have to do to try to get people arrested who have committed this type of vandalism."

Hedrick hopes stiffer jail sentences will stop the graffiti artists.

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