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Prolific Australian Graffiti Tagger Arrested For BART Train Vandalism

(CBS SF) -- A man with a notorious history of graffiti tagging has been arrested for vandalizing Bay Area Rapid Transit rail cars, including the agency's brand-new fleet.

Matthew Raoul White, a member of an Australian tagging crew known as "Get Hectik," was arrested at San Francisco International Airport on December 28, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

The 33-year-old White was awaiting a flight to Sydney when he was arrested and had spray paint on his clothing and shoes, the DA's office said. He is well-known in Australia for his prolific graffiti tagging and his group has its own YouTube channel showing members damaging transit cars in Australia, confronting transit personnel and tagging cars in New York.

BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez said Australian authorities gave his department a heads-up that White was coming to the U.S. "We were doing a lot of investigative work behind the scenes with Australia and New York." said Chief Alvarez.

White is suspected of tagging a number of BART cars during the first week of December at BART facilities in Contra Costa and San Mateo counties, including BART's new "fleet of the future" rail cars.

Courts in Australia have labeled White a public nuisance for his graffiti activities. He was also arrested in New York in 2016 along with two others for allegedly trespassing at a Bronx train depot in order to vandalize a train.

White faces two counts of felony vandalism and is being held on $400,000 bail. His first court date set for January 10.

Investigators are looking for others who may have been involved in the BART train vandalism.

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