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Bloomington men arrested for graffiti around city

Two Bloomington men were charged Friday in connection to prominent graffiti tags painted around the city.

Ricky Porter, 21, admitted to spray painting his tag, the word “vain,” across town. Jordan Cooper, 19, admitted to tagging “scope.”

Combined, the two were charged for at least 22 different instances of the graffiti.

The friends were arrested at Kroger on South Liberty Drive for outstanding warrants, but police also knew they were both suspects in recent graffiti cases. Bloomington Police Department Lt. John Kovach said he believed the department had video footage of the two spray painting things around town.

When a BPD detective went to the jail to question Porter and Cooper about the graffiti, they both admitted to painting their tags around the city.

Kovach said both men were honest and forthcoming.

Porter told officers he thought his tag, “vain,” was a nice fit because graffiti artists tend to have big egos.

He also told police he actually wanted to start tagging something other than “vain,” but the word is so ingrained in his muscle memory he can’t seem to.

Cooper told officers he's responsible for every instance of "scope" painted around the city. He said he sometimes adds a smiley face to his “scope” tag to "change things up." 

On the signature line of his Miranda rights paperwork, he signed “scope" instead of his name.

Both men told officers they post their work on social media. A court order has been issued for access to their accounts.

The duo's tags have been spotted around town, mostly on Bloomington's west side, for months now.

In April, employees of First Christian Church on Kirkwood Avenue found the word “vain” written in purple spray paint on the church.

That same day, a Bloomington Police Department officer said he saw the same word painted on the Monroe County History Center on East Sixth Street, about a block from the church.

That case was one of the 22 closed after the arrest of Porter and Cooper.

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