Surveillance video catches St. Pete vandal spray-painting vehicles, buildings

Small business owners frustrated by graffiti
Posted at 12:12 AM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 07:30:23-04

A group of small business owners are frustrated by a man police say is repeatedly spray-painting buildings and vehicles. 

Colorful murals give once forgotten buildings a splash of life and new shops are helping revitalize St. Petersburg's Methodist Town Neighborhood. 

"We're trying to do a collective artistic thing over here," said Nick Ferrell, a tattoo artist at Foolish Price Tattoos. 

But police say lately the wall-to-wall art pieces have been overshadowed, and ruined in some cases, by a late-night vandal. 

"Amazing artists you know, working hard to make these pieces and then somebody comes in, takes what, like 5 seconds and just ruins it," said Kim Vorperian, owner of Bodhi Basics. 

Vorperian showed ABC Action News where they had to cover up the mystery vandal's unwanted work. 

"It was pretty disheartening."

The St. Petersburg Police Department says the man is targeting buildings near 2nd Ave. North and Dr. MLK Jr. Street. 

Newly-released surveillance video shows him tagging a business owner's van. 

The spray-painting suspect always leaves his mark, "SPV Vandals" and "Jester." 

"I don't know why you would do that to somebody's property," said Ferrell. 

"And why they would choose to target these local, small businesses," said Vorperian. "We're all artists and makers too."