Man charged in San Mateo Co. for vandalizing BART trains during alleged 'spraycation'
SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) - A 33-year-old man from Australia was charged with vandalizing BART trains in San Mateo County during an alleged 'spraycation.'
The suspect, Matthew Raoul White, is allegedly part of a prolific tagging collective called Get Hectik and spray painted trains while they were parked in various yards throughout the Bay Area.
White is being held in the San Mateo County Jail after investigators said he was caught at SFO International Airport on his visit to the Bay.
The tagging group appears to promote vandalism of trains in their online videos.
"It's bizarre," said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. "Psychiatrists could analyze it and say something's not ticking right upstairs."
The yards where White allegedly left his mark at include; Daly City, Millbrae, Richmond and Concord.
"[He's] obviously a thrill seeker who gets some sort of strange pleasure by damaging vehicles," said Wagstaffe.
The D.A. said the suspect is wanted by law enforcement in Australia, where he's suspected of vandalizing trains for 15 years.
Deputy BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez said the taggers are motivated by the notoriety, "just getting their brand, their moniker out there."
"This particular person was looking for train cars as his canvas," Alvarez added.
BART Police said White spent a week in the Bay Area in early December. Following his alleged Bay Area 'spraycation', police said White traveled to Washington D.C. New York City and back to SFO on Dec. 28.
White was arrested while he was waiting for a connecting flight back to Australia.
Wagstaffe said White's clothing at the time of his arrest offered evidence of the crime.
"He had some of the same color paint on his clothing. he just didn't have time to get to the cleaners I guess," he said.
Law enforcement said it appears White acted alone while he was here.
He pled not guilty to two felony counts of vandalism.