He’s not exactly Banksy, but Steven Free, also known as “Girafa,” was carving out quite a nice niche for himself in the Bay Area graffiti scene.
Known for spray-painting distressed-looking giraffes in a variety of locations, Free, 32, was decorating bridges and buildings for years, up until two San Jose police officers, working in the graffiti unit, tracked him down with the help of specialized software and social media, the Mercury News reports.
Free, who lives in San Francisco, was ordered earlier this week by a Santa Clara Superior Court judge to pay $38,000 in restitution to the city of San Jose and property owners. Pleading guilty to two felony counts of vandalism as well as two misdemeanor vandalism charges, Free also received three years probation.
Police say it’s hard to know for sure just how many works of graffiti, or street art depending upon your interpretation, Free commissioned.