Graffiti Bandit Busted by Phoenix PD; Used Fire Extinguishers to Paint Local Businesses

Some of the handywork of street vandal "Near."
Some of the handywork of street vandal "Near."
Phoenix PD

Phoenix police announced today that they've arrested a man they believe is responsible for a string of graffiti-vandalism incidents in the Maryvale neighborhood of west Phoenix.

Yesterday, police arrested 19-year-old Robert Hernandez, who they say goes by the graffiti moniker "Near" for his involvement in the vandalism of several businesses.

If you live in the Maryvale neighborhood, you may be familiar with some of his work -- apparently the guy just writes the word "Near" in huge letters on the walls of area businesses.

If you haven't been to Hernandez's west Phoenix gallery, check out some of his more infamous works after the jump.

Graffiti Bandit Busted by Phoenix PD; Used Fire Extinguishers to Paint Local Businesses
Phoenix PD
Graffiti Bandit Busted by Phoenix PD; Used Fire Extinguishers to Paint Local Businesses

Phoenix Police Officer Luis Samudio tells New Times that Hernandez is part of a "tagging crew" responsible for thousands of dollars worth of damages to businesses in the area.

According to Samudio, Hernandez would fill fire extinguishers with paint, and use them to spray paint the walls of the businesses.

When police searched Hernandez's home, they found several fire extinguishers and painters' masks.

After his arrest, Hernandez admitted to the vandalism.

Hernandez was booked into a Maricopa County jail on several felony charges related to painting graffiti, including engaging in criminal damage.


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