SEATTLE – Seattle Police will be one of the many investigative agencies across the west coast asking if a “serial tagger” vandalized property with graffiti in their city.
The story started nearly 900 miles away in Santa Cruz, California. The city’s police department reports Detective Brian Warren discovered a connection as he followed up on a June 10, 2014, vandalism case. Someone tagged “BERG” or “GREB” on city parks, walls, fences and two police cars.
He started connecting the dots when a task force investigator from San Francisco shared information. Suddenly, it seemed like there was a larger story here.
On Monday, a team of detectives served a search warrant at the suspect’s home and arrested him. He had not been arraigned yet so KING 5 is not using his name.
Investigators said they found a portfolio of taggings, sketch books, canvas art, photos, computers and digital cameras. The images show multiple taggings on public and private property, police said.
Seattle Police confirmed their detective is looking into the case to see if they can attribute any property damage to him. Police told NBC affiliate KSBW the man may be responsible for hundreds of taggings all over the west coast.
“We’ll send out what we call a critical reach flyer to all of the cities and the west coast asking if they have damage committed by this individual,” said Deputy Chief Steve Clark of the Santa Cruz Police Dept. “We’ll work with them, we’ll collaborate and we’ll share information to help them in the development of their case.”
Police believe there could be a second suspect involved in the Santa Cruz case but have not made an arrest yet. It’s part of a bigger problem: 2012 numbers from the Washington State Department of Transportation showed Graffiti removal for just the Seattle office cost as much as $145,000 each year.
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