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San Mateo Officials: Graffiti a Problem Along Highway 101

The Police Department is increasing its enforcement effort in response to the ongoing issue.

The San Mateo Police Department and Department of Public Works on Friday acknowledged a "significant increase" in graffiti along the Highway 101 corridor in the past month.

"This is very concerning to us in city government just as it is for our community members," Interim Streets and Facilities Manager Matt Bronson said in a statement.

The Public Works Department responds using city staff and contractors to remove graffiti on city right-of-ways, including utility boxes, sound walls, and stop signs, and is working with Caltrans to remove graffiti along Highway 101, but the graffiti remains a concern for the city.

Graffiti has been removed from a number of locations in the past week, including the Third Avenue interchange, with remaining graffiti along Highway 101 to be removed in the coming days.

The Police Department will continue to work with Caltrans to expedite the response to future graffiti along Highway 101.

The Police Department is also increasing its enforcement effort, which is an important component of a long-term solution. Recent examples include:

  • Targeted enforcement action including more than 15 Probation Searches and proactive field contacts of known graffiti vandals over the past month.
  • Seven arrests and seizure of a cache of graffiti materials (paints, markers, stickers, etc.) from those arrested.
  • Ongoing saturation patrols, surveillance, and enforcement of high-frequency graffiti targets.


A resident who spots graffiti is asked to call the Public Works call center at 650-522-7300, 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Residents may also contact authorities in the following ways:

  • Emergencies or Crimes in Progress: 911
  • Non-Emergency: 650-522-7700
  • Secret Witness Line: 650-522-7676
  • Text a Tip Anonymously: 650-262-3473

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