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Local law enforcement investment in Graffiti Tracker software appears to be paying off, after sheriff's deputies apprehended a 15-year-old tagger linked to at least 90 graffiti incidents.

According to Sgt. Matt Blumenthal, the crimes committed by the juvenile, who has operated under the names "Smilez," Smile," and Smiles," are concentrated in the San Elijo neighborhood of San Marcos. The tag was found in various places, primarily left via a black permanent ink marker.

The total damage caused by Smilez is estimated to be at least $24,000. At the time his true identity was discovered, he was already in police custody on a prior probation violation. The youth admitted to his alter-ego under questioning at juvenile hall in Linda Vista. He has also been linked to other gang-related activity in the San Marcos area.

An investigation into the breadth of the damages caused is ongoing.

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