GOLETA — In a tourist-centric community struggling to combat the eyesore of public area graffiti art, a noted “tagger” finally ran afoul of the law last Friday.
An aggressive investigation into street vandalism in the area came to an end with the July 30 felony arrest of Shayne Tuthill.
Tuthill, 20, is suspected of numerous serial public graffiti violations. As described to the media by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars, the young suspect has “a street reputation as one of the most prolific taggers we’ve seen in recent years.”
Authorities indicate that Tuthill has a reputation as a “oner”, defined as a tagger who has no gang affiliation or support team and works completely solo. The tagging culture holds such maverick vandals in particularly high regard.
Tuthill’s reputation earned him “moniker recognition putting him on some sort of underground pedestal” within the local underground culture and among other local graffiti vandals, noted Sugars.
As detailed by the arresting deputies’ reports, investigators worked closely with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office in serving four warrants upon their suspect at his home in Goleta, just north of Santa Barbara city limits. Evidence gathered at that scene included a wide assortment of spray paints, paint pens, glass etching tools, photographs and electronic correspondence, all pointing to his suspected activities.
Tuthill is suspected of more than 200 misdemeanor and felony vandalism acts ranging from northern Santa Barbara County to Oceanside. He was booked in Santa Barbara County Jail on multiple counts of felony vandalism, misdemeanor vandalism, and possession of graffiti tools.