Graffiti bandit busted after two-year spraying spree

Some consider it vandalism, others, urban art.

A Somerville man is accused of defacing property on the MBTA and other public spots in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline, according to transit police.

Spencer Wright, 21, was arrested last month for allegedly marking the Boston-area with his graffiti for the past two years.

Each year graffiti and other forms of vandalism committed on MBTA property costs about $1 million to remove, according to Transit Police.

“To fight back against these criminal and costly acts the Transit Police dedicate resources for identifying, prosecuting and in some instances obtaining court ordered restitution from individuals responsible for such behavior against the MBTA,” Transit Police said in a statement.

To track down Wright, Transit Police unleashed one of their own – Lt. Det. Nancy O’Loughlin, a 30 year veteran – who is reportedly recognized throughout the United States as an expert in conducting graffiti investigations and for her ability to interpret the “tagging” signs left behind by vandals. 

O’Loughlin has been identifying and bringing those responsible for defacing MBTA property into the criminal justice system since 1984. She has recouped thousands of dollars in restitution for the MBTA over the years, according to transit police.

Wright will be charged with multiple counts of felony, defacing property and multiple counts of felony vandalism, and is soon due in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Newton and Somerville Municipal Courts, according to transit police.

“The identification and subsequent charges in this case are another example of the great police work that she has done over the last 30 years to identify individuals who vandalize property throughout the Commonwealth and the nation,” Transit Police Superintendent-in-Chief Joseph O’Connor said in a statement.



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