Graffiti & Abandoned Vehicles

The City of Half Moon Bay and the Sheriff's Office work to maintain a clean, inviting, safe, and comfortable place for the people who live, work, and visit here. And, community members play an important role in keeping our City attractive and welcoming. Part of this is addressing the issues of abandoned vehicles, and graffiti prevention and abatement.

Abandoned Vehicles

An abandon vehicle is defined as a vehicle that has been left on the street for more than 72 hours with the intent to abandon the vehicle. Criteria such as having excessive dust, debris around the tires, spider webs around the fender wells, missing parts, flat tire, etc, help to identify if a vehicle is abandoned. This differs from owners using a public street to store their vehicle, exceeding the 72-hour parking restriction.

Abandoned vehicles are often unregistered and may have defaced identification numbers. Abandoned vehicles attract vandals, may be used for drug drops or prostitution, accumulate refuse, and may be used as shelters by the homeless. Some motor vehicle parts contain hazardous substances, in addition to gasoline and other fluids, that must be properly disposed of. Old vans and truck trailers may be filled with trash or hazardous waste, then left on roadsides. Individual cars dumped on city streets may contain car parts or other junk.

Graffiti Prevention and Abatement

The mission of the Graffiti Abatement Program is to beautify the City by preventing and removing graffiti. The involvement by Half Moon Bay residents in anti-graffiti efforts is key to the long-term success of the program.

Prevention Tips

There are many things residents and business owners in Half Moon Bay can do to prevent graffiti.

  • Consider applying an anti-graffiti solution (protective coating) over paint
  • Cover downspouts and move trash bins away from walls of businesses to make it harder to get access to roofs
  • Increase lighting or use motion-activated lights around your property
  • Organize neighborhood groups to help fight graffiti
  • Plant thorny or thick bushes in front of large walls to make it harder for access
  • Protect your own property by installing landscaping that covers walls, etc., painting murals (graffiti vandals like clean canvases for their work), and building fences with board gaps or lattices, not flat surfaces
  • Question teens who try to obtain spray paint
  • Report suspicious behavior
  • Teach community pride
  • Teach responsibility and respect


  • Graffiti Abatement Hotline at 650-750-2025
  • Graffiti vandalism in progress, residents should call 911
  • Anonymously: call the Half Moon Bay Sheriff Sub Station at 650-726-8288

Have Information Ready

  • Location: The address, or closest address. Include cross roads and directional clues (NE, SE, SW, NW).
  • Type: Ie. walls, curbsides, telephone pole. etc. If located on utility please include the company name (PG&E, Comcast, etc.).
  • Business Name: Permission must be obtained from the property owner to clean private property.
  • Contact Information: name and phone number. Your contact information will not be shared. 


  • Remove on private property as soon as you have photographed it and reported it.
  • Put a primer coat over the graffiti and follow up with a coat of exterior paint.


Municipal Code Section 15.26.030 B makes it unlawful for an owner of a lot or parcel to allow graffiti to remain on any structure upon the lot or parcel within fifteen (15) days after notification by cleaning, painting or other method.

If the graffiti is not removed after 15 days, City staff will remove the graffiti from the property and all costs will be charged to the owner of the property.

  1. Graffiti Hotline

    Graffiti Hotline

  2. Abandoned Vehicle

    Abandoned Vehicles

  3. Sheriff's Office (substation)

    Physical Address
    537 Kelly Avenue
    Half Moon Bay, CA 94019


    Emergency Phone: 911


    Monday - Friday

    8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Additional Contact Numbers

    • Coastside Patrol Sergeant: (650) 573-2844
    • Community Policing: (650) 573-2846
    • After hours Dispatch: (650) 726-8286