Crime

Key West police target graffiti suspect

Key West police have identified a suspect who sprayed this graffiti on an Old Town building.
Key West police have identified a suspect who sprayed this graffiti on an Old Town building.

Key West police want to arrest a mainland man they say went on a mini graffiti spree in the Florida Keys last weekend.

Tyler Edward Forgatsch, 23, of Sunrise is suspected of spray painting black paint on several Old Town buildings on April 29, said police spokeswoman Alyson Crean.

A couple walking downtown that day noticed the smell of spray paint in the air as they came around the corner of Front and Whitehead streets and then saw a man spray painting a wall, according to Crean. The witness quickly took a picture of the suspect, then called police. The suspect turned to the couple, dropped the paint can and walked away toward Mallory Square.

The witness followed and watched the suspect drive away in a black Nissan Altima, capturing the license plate number, Crean said.

Officers found three businesses had been vandalized.

With information from witnesses and video surveillance, officers identified Forgatsch as the suspect. A warrant was issued Wednesday and police issued a be-on-the-lookout alert. It’s suspected that Forgatsch returned to the mainland.

Officers also suspect that Forgatsch is responsible for graffiti in Marathon that Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay spotted on his way to work Tuesday and stopped to paint over it, Crean said.

Anyone with information about Forgatsch may call police at (305) 809-1000 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 345-TIPS.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen

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