Skip to content
Name: People v. Santori
Case #: B262306
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 12/18/2015

Substantial evidence supported restitution award for damage caused by the defendant’s graffiti where a crime prevention officer considered photos of the graffiti when she calculated the cost to restore the defaced surfaces. Santori admitted to police that he was responsible for 36 acts of graffiti. He pleaded to two counts of vandalism in two separate cases. At a restitution hearing, a crime prevention officer testified that she had developed a “per minute cost” to abate graffiti. Based on photographs of the graffiti drawn by Santori, the officer testified that 100 minutes was a reasonable estimate for each of the 32 incidents. The trial court awarded $18,878.23 in restitution. Santori appealed, arguing that the prosecution failed to demonstrate a factual nexus between the restitution order and the damage caused by the defendant. Held: Affirmed. In Luis M. v. Superior Court (2014) 59 Cal.4th 300, 309, the California Supreme Court held that a restitution award based solely on the average cost for graffiti removal was insufficient and clarified that a restitution award must be based on the cost to abate the damage caused by the defendant, which could be established by photographs showing the size of the graffiti and a witness who could estimate the average cost per square foot (or other measure) to restore the defaced surfaces. Here, the crime prevention officer complied with that mandate. She viewed photographs of Santori’s graffiti, estimated the time needed to abate each incident, and provided the average cost per minute to restore the defaced surfaces. Because the officer in this case based her opinion on Santori’s graffiti and not just an average for removal of the city’s graffiti, the evidence sufficient to support the restitution award.