Tagger RUETS wanted for vandalism

LOS ANGELES — Sheriff’s deputies Tuesday sought a tagger who uses the moniker “RUETS” for his alleged role in vandalizing several trains, busses and other public property, officials said.


Thomas Benson, 28, a.k.a. “RUETS” allegedly belongs to several tagging crews including AL (At Large), PDB (Pros Don’t Boast) and ND (North East). He may also belong to a group known as Mad Society Kings, sheriff’s deputy Michael Thibodeaux said in a statement.

“MSK is a tagging crew that we know to have ties to several other crews here in L.A., including those that Benson is a part of,” said Thibodeaux, “We believe a tagger, Jason Williams, who uses the tagger moniker REVOK, is a leading figure in the MSK crew.”

In April Williams was convicted and sentenced to 180 days in jail after a judge found that he had violated the terms of his probation in a previous vandalism conviction. He was found to have violated his probation on a misdemeanor vandalism charge by failing to pay adequate restitution to his victims, officials said.

Williams was arrested by deputies with the Sheriff’s Metro Transit Services Bureau Special Problems Unit prior to his April conviction.

“These taggers are not misguided kids,” Detective Sergeant Ron Marquez said in a prepared statement, “These suspects are in their 20s and 30s. They are adults who pass themselves off as artists, when in reality, they’re criminals who commit vandalism crimes that cost property owners and taxpayers a lot of money to clean up.”

For more information, visit the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department website to see
“LA’s Most Wanted Taggers at:


To see some of RUETS work visit:


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Teen taggers taken down

A couple of Whittier teens are in hot water after being picked up by the police and charged felony vandalism after tagging around town. Damage estimates for the pair’s handiwork top $50,000. That’s a lot of tagging. Here’s the scoop:

WHITTIER – A 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl face felony vandalism charges after allegedly tagging all over the city causing a combined $51,000 in damages.
Police said the teens worked on their own. The boy is believed to be responsible for 66 tagging incidents that led to $23,000 in damages. The girl allegedly tagged 126 times causing more than $28,000 in damages.
Whittier police spokesman Mike Dekowski said the District Attorney’s Office hasn’t yet filed charges against the teens, who were arrested Feb. 2 and 3.
Both were cited out after their arrests. They will return to juvenile court at a later date.
Dekowski said the girl, who lives in the unincorporated Whittier area, tagged also in Pico Rivera and La Habra. Officers are working with other agencies to determine how much the damages were in these communities.
He said the boy, who lives in Whittier, scribbled and scrawled on signs, curbs, walls and sidewalks in the east end of town.

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Tagger Buket sent to county bucket

Cyrus Yazdani, better known as “buket” the tagger who posted his exploits on YouTube, pleaded guilty to 32 counts of felony vandalism and admitted a special allegation that the damage exceeded $50,000.

As a result he’ll get 314 days of county jail time, 256 hours of graffiti removal time and five years fo formal probation.

He received the sentence despite objections from the prosecution, which sought state prison time for the prolific tagger, who may have recently posted on this blog.

Here’s the infamous video:


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Rival taggers get rough

I don’t know what to make of this story. There’s a lot of questions that Montebello PD declined to answer.

The jist is that two groups of taggers got into two fights over the course of the afternoon.

Here’s the story we posted early this a.m.:

MONTEBELLO – Rival tagging crews “beat each other up” Sunday afternoon, resulting in two people being sent to the hospital, said Montebello Police Lt. Govan Yee.

The first incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. at the 100 block of 18th Street. A man was attacked and beaten with an object by several members of a rival tagging crew.

Immediately after, the victim retaliated by attacking a rival tagging member, who was at his home on Wilcox Avenue.

Yee said it does not appear that either victim will press charges.

“Both of them were not very cooperative as to giving information,” Yee said. “It’s typical that gangs and tagging crews handle their own problems. Unfortunately, it results in more violence down the road.”

Yee declined to give the names of the gangs, the names of the victims, or the victims ages

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Suspected tag vandals picked up in Azusa

Here’s the top of the story we’ve just posted on the web. These two knuckleheads are suspected of causing about $15,000 in damage:

AZUSA – Two teens were arrested earlier this week on suspicion of tagging more than 30 windows at a shopping center during the course of a week, according to police officials.

Azusa Police first received reports of etchings in several plate glass windows at the Citrus Crossing Shopping Center, at the corner of Citrus Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, on Sept. 4, according to Azusa police Lt. Frank Chavez.

Further investigation led merchants and police to discover more than 30 windows had been vandalized, he said. Damage of the windows is estimated to be $15,300, Chavez said.

Detectives determined the etchings to be connected to a local tagging crew and proceeded to interview members of the crew at an Azusa area school. Chavez would not disclose the name of the school.

While at the school Thursday one juvenile, 16, was identified as one of the taggers at the shopping center. The other teen was turned in by his parents at the Azusa Police Department Jail.

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Detectives seek killers of man who tried to stop taggers

This is a press release from Supervisor Gloria Molina’s office. It came just two days after an emotional hearing before the Supes about the deaths of Good Samaritans who try to stop graffiti vandals throughout the county:

Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina will join Lieutenant Gil Carrillo of the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Division to publicize a $25,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the death of Luis Sandoval, a 71-year-old East Los Angeles resident who was shot in the abdomen after witnessing two males spray-painting graffiti on the side of a business located at the corner of East Olympic Boulevard and South Hicks Avenue. 

Mr. Sandoval had been riding his bicycle home and lived just four houses away from the scene of the crime.  Though the shooting took place on February 25, 2007, Mr. Sandoval died approximately four months later on June 13, 2007.  Authorities have since confirmed that his death was due directly to the injuries he sustained as a result of the shooting and are now asking for the public’s help to solve this homicide–the third graffiti-related killing to occur in the First District.  (Robert Whitehead of Valinda was shot and killed in March 2006 while trying to stop graffiti taggers from spray-painting his neighbor’s garage; Maria Hicks of Pico Rivera was shot and killed in August 2007 while trying to stop graffiti taggers from spray-painting a wall in her neighborhood.) 

Surviving relatives of Luis Sandoval will be available at tomorrow’s press conference for interviews and pictures of the crime scene will be on display.
“Luis Sandoval was a hard-working, retired steel worker with a large family whose only transgression was being at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Molina said.  “The anguish his death has caused his family is indescribable–and it is particularly painful to the community since it is the third graffiti-related homicide to take place in the First Supervisorial District.  It is my sincere hope that this $25,000 reward compels someone to bring information forward that will help us catch the people responsible for Luis Sandoval’s murder.”

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