SHEBOYGAN (WITI) -- 21-year-old Lukas Bagemehl has been charged in connection with graffiti in the Sheboygan area. Sheboygan police officials said Bagemehl is a "prolific graffiti artist" who has been active in the Sheboygan community for several years.
"We are confident that he is one of the graffiti vandals," Sheboygan Police Capt. Stephen Cobb said.
Police say evidence led to the search of a home in the 2200 block of Kohls Ct. and the arrest of Bagemehl.
Bagemehl has now been charged with one count of graffiti, one count of maintaining a drug trafficking place, one count of possession of marijuana and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police say since 2006, there have been multiple criminal damage to property reports in which the monikers HSK and Mad1 have been painted on private and public property.
"We're going back through, as far back as 2006 and identifying cases where this same graffiti has been painted, used and displayed so we can link those cases to this arrest," Capt. Cobb said.
The criminal complaint in the case lists several incidences of graffiti discovered on public property as well as commercial buildings and residential property in November, December and January -- all with similar unique signatures.
"In one night, suddenly there would be four or five or six tags that were put up," Capt. Cobb said.
The criminal complaint indicates during his arrest, Bagemehl became uncooperative, swearing and yelling at officers before he was ultimately placed in the back of a squad car.
When interviewed by police, Bagemehl denied responsibility for the graffiti, despite the fact that officers informed him they had discovered graffiti with similar signatures in the basement of Bagemehl's former residence. Bagemehl told officers he believed someone painted his basement in an effort to get him into trouble.
"We conducted a search in which we obviously found more definitive evidence that links Lukas Bagemehl to this very particular graffiti that we were investigating," Capt. Cobb said.
The criminal complaint in the case indicates during a search of Bagemehl's residence, officers discovered a great deal of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in plain view in almost every room of the residence. Officials also observed various items consisted with spray painting and graffiti, and numerous areas of the walls were spray painted and painted into murals.
Following the search, the criminal complaint in the case indicates Bagemehl continued to deny being responsible for the graffiti, and said in order to be caught, the police would have to be videotaping him.
Damage from this graffiti is estimated to be over $40,000.
"Graffiti, the way that it goes up, the manner that it goes up, it really does suck the vitality out of an area," Capt. Cobb said.