Graffiti removal and traditional abatement strategies have already proven to ineffective and not cost efficient. The scandal in Burbank exposes how private abatement contractors have abused the system even further.

A graffiti-removal worker was arrested for allegedly tagging various locations in Burbank and then fraudulently billing the city to remove the same tags, police said today.


Enrique Medrano, 53, was arrested on Thursday and was booked on suspicion of vandalism, burglary, and forgery, Burbank police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said.

“Medrano was employed by a graffiti-removal company, contracted by the city of Burbank, and was assigned to clean and remove graffiti in city parks, alleys and other public areas,” Ryburn said.

“Over the course of the investigation, Medrano was involved in applying over 100 graffiti tags in the city, removing the same graffiti he applied, and subsequently submitting fraudulent billings to the city for work performed,” Ryburn said.

The fraudulent billings totaled more than $2,200, Ryburn said.