Vandal tags Grater Grilled Cheese restaurant in Mission Valley, posts crime on Instagram

Posted at 5:40 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 22:40:19-04

SAN DIEGO - A Mission Valley restaurant owner is trying to track down the person who defaced her business, but an error by the vandal could lead to his arrest.

Natalie Garin said Grater Grilled Cheese, the restaurant she co-owns, serves up more than just comfort food. The eatery immerses customers in cheese -- from graters that dangle from the ceiling, to the famous faces on the wall.

Garin posted pictures of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, actress Emma Stone and other celebrities eating grilled cheese sandwiches.

She also applied that same passion to the single-person bathroom, although these days two nails on the wall hang bare. They used to hold up a picture of Charlie Chaplin, but that all changed during a fundraiser this weekend.

"I got up, I went to the bathroom and I just saw Charlie Chaplin was, like, vandalized," Garin said.

She didn't know who did it, but the vandal did the detective work himself when he bragged about his work on Instagram.

"So I took a screengrab of his Instagram and posted it everywhere," Garin said.

She also sent that screenshot to police, and a spokesman said they're about to begin investigating.

People on Facebook said they recognized other restaurant bathrooms the man hit around town.

"If he's so talented, why not put it to good use?" Garin said. "You can still be underground and still make a statement, but not damage other people's property."

Garin said it especially stings because she painted the yellow cheese stain above Chaplin herself.

Now, she said she's uncertain who will hang on her bathroom wall, but one thing is for sure: "I'll paint cheese."