SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 4, 2013

Man faces charges over graffiti tags

Police: Suspect posted pictures of vandalism on Facebook

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — His name is Robert Philip Clark Jackson, but he may be better known by an unprintable “moniker” he has allegedly spray-painted all over Salem.

And in March, Jackson, 22, of 11 Fairfield St., Salem, will be in court to answer to 80 counts of vandalism and two counts of trespassing, charges filed following an investigation by the Salem police Community Impact Unit.

How did they figure out it was Jackson?

It turns out that he’d posted pictures of himself standing under his handiwork to his own Facebook page, police said.

According to court papers filed with the complaint, Salem police Sgt. Harry Rocheville had received information about the graffiti, which was turning up on a wall adjacent to the MBTA commuter rail tracks near Canal Street, as well as on the property of two local businesses, North Shore Recycled Fibers and Pappas Welding. More “tags” were later found at a third business, Univar, on Colonial Road, and inside the MBTA tunnel that runs underneath downtown Salem.

A mailbox near Jackson’s home had also been tagged.

In October, police obtained a search warrant and went to Jackson’s house, where they turned up clothing, including a Ralph Lauren coat, tan pants and Nike sneakers that they had seen Jackson wearing in the Facebook photos. The pants were also emblazoned with an abbreviated version of his most common tag.

They also found notebooks containing drawings similar to the spray-painted tags, blank postal labels (which Jackson allegedly used to make “slap tags” or stickers with his symbols on them), spray paint, computers and iPhones.

After getting another warrant to search the phones, police found more photos of Jackson standing near the tags.

Besides his primary tag, which appears to refer to a character in some pornography, Jackson allegedly spray-painted words like “decay,” the area code 978, “platinm” and a misspelled racial epithet.

Police found one wall where a property owner had painted over earlier graffiti, only to find the words “Don’t paint over this” painted there soon after.

The images are no longer viewable on Facebook, but one photo turned up on another social website, Instagram.

Jackson’s arraignment has been scheduled for March 27.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.