Tooele man arrested for estimated $40,000 worth of graffiti over 3-year span

Graffiti vandalism spray paint tagging tags stock image file photo generic graphic
Posted at 8:39 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 00:16:23-04

TOOELE, Utah — Police have identified and arrested a man who they say is responsible for hundreds of graffiti tags across Tooele.

An officer tasked with investigating vandalism in the city wrote in a probable cause affidavit that about eight months ago, he began seeing instances of graffiti that were similar in style to ones that he was "unable to solve three years ago."

Among other miscellaneous words and letters, these new tags included:

  • "POST"
  • "POS"
  • "POSR"
  • "CNS"
  • "ESKEL"
  • "SE"
  • "SEL"

The investigating officer said he identified the suspect in one of the graffiti cases as 31-year-old Aaron Michael Deherrera based on camera footage from the incident.

Deherrera was brought into the Tooele City Police Department Monday morning, where he was told his Miranda rights and agreed to talk with the officer.

According to the affidavit, Deherrera admitted to tagging multiple areas across the city and confirmed that photos of several graffiti cases were indeed his.

He told police that "CNS" stood for Cyber Nettix," a rap group he has listened to since he was younger. "POST," "POSR" and "POS" were short for "when you 'post something,'" he said, according to court documents.

Deherrera told police he tagged because it was a way for him to get outside and it helped him feel free. He also said it became more of an issue when he got out of prison.

The officer said he connected Deherrera to about 200 different graffiti cases. The most recent was about a week ago. Based on his previous investigations, he estimated that each instance caused about $200 in damage — totaling an estimated $40,000 for all the tags Deherrera allegedly painted.

He was booked in jail on one 2nd-degree felony count of "graffiti violations exceeding $5,000," one misdemeanor count of criminal trespassing, and a misdemeanor for possession of a controlled substance after a search allegedly found that he had marijuana seeds.