Suspect arrested in string of over 300 graffiti incidents in Phoenix

Apr 12, 2022, 4:00 PM

(Phoenix Police Photo) (Phoenix Police Photo) (Phoenix Police Photo) (Phoenix Police Photo) (Phoenix Police Photo) Toby Manuelito (MCSO Mugshot)

PHOENIX — A suspect was arrested Monday in connection with a string of graffiti incidents in Phoenix that caused about $38,000 in damages, authorities said.

Toby Manuelito, 20, was accused in about 315 incidents that began in 2020, Phoenix Police Sgt. Philip Krynsky told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

Manuelito would tag various residential areas, businesses, government property and murals — mostly in downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row — with the moniker “MEROE,” according to Krynsky.

Investigators used tips from residents to arrest Manuelito near 7th Avenue and McDowell Road.

Police found spray paint cans and hundreds of pens and markers upon Manuelito’s arrest.

“It’s just something that our community does not tolerate and we’re happy to be able to put an end to it,” Krynsky said.

Manuelito was charged with one count of criminal damage.

The city of Phoenix’s Neighborhood Services Department was responsible for cleaning the graffiti from vandalized areas for the past two years.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Balin Overstolz-McNair contributed to this report.

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Suspect arrested in string of over 300 graffiti incidents in Phoenix