crimesider

Graffiti Artist Arrested: "Friended" by police, then jailed

Graffiti isn't just unsightly - it's also a way for gang members to communicate with each other, explains Massachusetts State Trooper Mike Cutone. That's why the police are so determined to fight it.

CBS
(CBS/AP) SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah graffiti artist was so proud of his work that he posted photos of it on Facebook. Police took note, sent him a friend request via a fake online profile, and ultimately, arrested him.

With friends like that, who needs frenemies?

Police say 20-year-old Matthew Todakonzie of North Salt Lake posted more than 150 photos on a private Facebook page titled "graffiti." Then he agreed to share them online with an undercover detective who tracked down dozens that carried the unique tag, "HOKES."

North Salt Lake Police Sgt. Mitch Gwilliam told the Deseret News most taggers are very proud of what they do and want to be recognized - to a point.

Todakonzie's recognition landed him in the Davis County Jail on Thursday for investigation of criminal mischief graffiti and criminal trespass.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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