Prolific Bay Area tagger and muralist Girafa (née Steven Free) pled guilty to two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of vandalism in a Santa Clara Superior Court earlier this week. The 32-year-old Free, a San Francisco resident, was arrested back in October of 2009 on 10 felony vandalism cases in San Jose where the cops didn't seem to be so appreciative of Girafa's playful wall cartoons and personal branding efforts. According to Bay City News, eight of those felony charges were dropped, but the remaining counts have landed Free three years of probation and 38 grand worth of fines to the City of San Jose and various property owners.
On the bright side, the investigation found Girafa to be one of "the most prolific taggers in the Bay Area," which is nice for bragging rights. Assuming the terms of his probation still allow him to go anywhere near paint cans, we're thinking now would be a good time to go legit and paint a few gallery walls to cover those costs. Perhaps he could even design a colorful wall mural at a local elementary school or something. You know - to remind everybody that street art can be fun.
Previously on SFist: Police Arrest Graffiti Artist "Girafa" (AKA Steven Free)