MySpace Account Leads Police to Pennsylvania Graffiti Suspect

A suburban Philadelphia woman suspected of dozens of graffiti tags was identified after she used her MySpace account name in her work, police said.

Melanie Brockway, 23, of Norristown, included the contact name "Devient Art" on some of the dozens of properties she vandalized, according to police.

Investigators traced the account to Brockway and arrested her after a search turned up spray paint and other evidence at her Norristown home, authorities said.

Police suspect Brockway vandalized about 100 properties in the area, causing $10,000 in damage. She allegedly spray painted graffiti on homes, businesses, newspaper boxes, playground equipment and other property, tagging them with the letters "SKTCH" and "DVNC," according to a criminal complaint.

"She calls herself an aspiring artist," Norristown Police Chief Russell Bono said. "We want the public to know we take these things very seriously."

Brockway, an unemployed mother of two, admitted she tagged 80 to 100 properties or more, according to police reports. Separately, a 17-year-old boy is charged as a juvenile with tagging 150 to 200 city properties.

A listed phone number for Brockway has been disconnected and it was not immediately clear if she had a lawyer or if she remained in custody.

While some residents view graffiti as a gang activity, that's not always the case, Bono said.

"They think it's gang related, and it's not," he said.