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Local News

Santa Barbara Man Accused of Prolific Graffiti Vandalism

Deputies arrest the suspect in connection with hundreds of incidents

A 20-year-old Santa Barbara man who sheriff’s detectives believe was involved in hundreds of graffiti acts has been arrested after a five-week investigation into vandalism in Goleta and Santa Barbara.

Shayne Peter Tuthill
Shayne Peter Tuthill

Deputies with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department arrested Shayne Peter Tuthill without incident on Friday at his home in the 900 block of West Mission Street.

Department spokesman Drew Sugars said in a news release that detectives believe Tuthill has been one of the Goleta area’s most prolific graffiti vandals during the past three years, and that he may be responsible for several hundred acts of misdemeanor and felony vandalism in Goleta and as far south as Oceanside.

Tuthill allegedly has used a consistent moniker, according to Sugars, and deputies have been working to identify the suspect behind that moniker for more than a year. Tuthill is known as a “oner,” which means he isn’t affiliated with a gang or tagging crew, Sugars said, adding that moniker recognition is a primary goal among those involved with graffiti vandalism.

Video surveillance provided by a victim in June led to a break in the case against Tuthill. Deputies served four warrants on him, collecting several hundred pieces of evidence, including aerosol spray paint cans, paint pens, felt-tip markers, glass etching devices, photographs, text messages and e-mails.

Tuthill faces three counts of felony vandalism, two counts of misdemeanor vandalism and two counts of possession of graffiti tools.

Sugars said the investigation led to the resolution of other unsolved crimes. He didn’t elaborate.

For information about preventing or removing graffiti in your neighborhood, call the Goleta Community Resource Office at 805.968.3878.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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