Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, December 14, 2007

12-14-07 Graffiti Arrests

12-14-07 Graffiti Arrests

    Boise, Dec. 14, 2007 - Boise Police have arrested 3 people who officers believe are responsible for a huge percentage of the graffiti crime reported in the city of Boise over the past several months.

    Arrested: Taylor Ryan Coe, 19, Boise

    Charge: Felony Malicious Injury to Property

    Arrested: Lazarus James Moon, 19, Boise

    Charges: Felony Malicious Injury to Property, Felony Probation Violation

    Arrested: Elysse S. Taylor, 20, Boise

    Charge: Felony Malicious Injury to Property

   

    About the suspects: Boise Police believe these 3 suspects are responsible for 80 - 85% of the reported graffiti crime in Boise in recent months, more than 100 reported cases. Boise Police investigators, working with officers from other local agencies, also believe the suspects are responsible for reported graffiti crimes in Meridian, Garden City and Eagle. Officers believe Moon and Taylor often worked together. Officers believe Coe worked alone. Moon and Coe have previous arrests involving similar crimes.

     About the Investigation: Boise Police Neighborhood Contact Officers began working this investigation in August. The investigation began with a tip to Crime Stoppers. Officers continued to follow and develop leads, leading officers to serve two search warrants on two Boise homes Thursday morning, one home in the area of Fairview & Cole, the other near Main & 27th. During the warrant search, officers collected extensive evidence that includes:

  • dozens and dozens of spray paint cans
  • back packs, bags, and clothing officers all believe was used during the crimes
  • numerous photos and notebooks that show graffiti painted at a number of locations. Officers believe these photos illustrate how the suspects document their own crimes.
  • media reports, newspapers and printed web copy, that the suspects collected detailing previous graffiti arrests and media reports that show the suspects graffiti. 

    The suspects were taken into custody following the service of the search warrants. 

     About the crimes: Officers believe these suspects are responsible for graffiti crimes that have been so numerous, citizens will recognize their "signatures". Officers believe the suspect Coe is responsible for graffiti crimes using variations of the signature "Leer", among other images. Officers believe Moon is responsible for images that included the signature Amok, along with other images. 

    The graffiti began appearing in numerous locations beginning as early as January, damaging public and private locations including small business buildings, private fences, garages, and outbuildings, parks, the connector and the interstate, as well as the new interstate overpass at Locust Grove. 

    Graffiti damage attributed to these suspects also appeared the day after more than 100 community volunteers gathered to paint over graffiti at dozens of locations throughout Boise.

    The cost: Officers believe the suspects have damaged property that has cost the city, highway districts and private citizens thousands of dollars in clean up costs.

    "Graffiti is associated with crime and it degrades our neighborhoods," said Boise Mayor David Bieter. "Our Neighborhood Contact Officers have worked closely with homeowners and citizens to crack down on this blight. We were recently named as one of the country's safest cities. This kind of partnership between the community and our law enforcement officers is one reason why."

  About Graffiti: Officers say the vast majority of the graffiti seen in Boise City is "tagging", done by vandals known as "taggers" whose motive is exposure, they want their "signature" to be seen by as many people as possible. They compete with each other to place their tagging in places that get the most public exposure or are the hardest places to reach.

     The Boise Police Department strongly encourages people to report, then remove graffiti.  
     To report graffiti, call non-emergency dispatch at 377-6790, or report it online at www.boisepolice.org, click on the Report a Crime Online link.