Daily Dose of Great Police Work: Members of BPD Auto Theft Unit Arrest Graffiti Tagger in the South End


At about 1:15 PM on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, an officer assigned to the Boston Police Auto Theft Unit was on patrol in the area of West Dedham and Tremont Street in District D-4 (South End) in a concerted effort to prevent vandals from spraying graffiti and tags on public property, residents’ property, businesses’ property, and vehicles throughout the city. From his training and experience, this officer had specific knowledge of characteristics and common behaviors exhibited by taggers and, on the above date and time, observed an individual, later identified as 19-year-old Logan O’Keefe of Mattapan, exhibiting those behaviors.

The officer’s attention was first drawn to O’Keefe when he observed him standing awkwardly near a large green mailbox while holding what appeared to be a whiteout marker in his hand. The officer observed O’Keefe briefly turn toward the mailbox, then walk away. At no time did the officer ever observe a piece of mail in O’Keefe’s hand nor was this a working blue mailbox. As O’Keefe walked farther away, the officer approached to inspect the mailbox and observed a fresh graffiti “tag” on it. The officer observed a similar tag on a second nearby mailbox. The officer followed O’Keefe as he walked onto Montgomery Street, watching as O’Keefe took out a cell phone and took a picture of a third similar tag, this one larger on the side of a residential building. The officer continued to follow the suspect observing him make several more tags, while requesting an additional unit so that he may affect a safe arrest. O’Keefe was in the process of tagging a silver vent pipe in the area of 671 Tremont Street when the officers were able to arrest him without further incident. O’Keefe is charged with six counts of Felony Tagging/Graffiti and will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court.