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TOOELE — Tooele police say they have arrested a "tagger" whose graffiti has caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage throughout the city over the past several years.
Aaron Michael Deherrera, 31, was booked into the Tooele County Jail on Monday for investigation of graffiti causing more than $5,000 in damage, trespassing and drug possession inside a correctional facility.
According to a police booking affidavit, the arresting officer who has been investigating Deherrera believes some of his graffiti can be traced to unsolved tagging cases from years ago.
"Over the past three years, I am able to tie approximately 200 different tags that I believe came from Mr. Deherrera. The most recent tag that I believed was from Mr. Dehererra was done about one week ago," the affidavit states.
Using surveillance video and comparing handwriting styles, police say they tied Deherrera to the graffiti cases and took him in for questioning on Monday.
"He advised me that the reason he tagged was because it was something that got him outside and helped him feel free," according to the affidavit.
Police estimated it would cost about $40,000 to clean up all of the graffiti tied to Derherrera.
"Since the beginning of this year, his tagging has seemed to become more and more frequent. He has also become more brazen with his tagging by tagging the exterior upper-level walls of numerous businesses in Tooele. Several of these tags are over 5 feet long and several feet tall. Mr. Deherrera has shown a complete disregard for property belonging to other residents over the past several years," the affidavit states.
After he was questioned, Deherrera was arrested and taken to jail, where corrections officers found marijuana seeds in his pockets, according to the affidavit.