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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

It’s not me…

Imagine how stunned I was to see on the AP wire today that an elusive graffiti bandit is annoying the heck out of Pocatello by emblazoning "BZR" in all kinds of high and hard-to-reach places on buildings and signs in the southeast Idaho city. Yes, those are my initials (Betsy Z. Russell), but I'm definitely not the bandit! Click below to read an AP report, via the Idaho State Journal, about the graffiti artist, whom one local business owner has threatened to make "walk the plank" if she catches him.

Hunt is on for southeast Idaho graffiti artist

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — Merchants in Pocatello historic section are offering a $500 reward for help in catching a graffiti artist whose "BZR" mark has become as prominent as the signer is elusive.

The so-called "BZR Bandit" has left the letters at the top of some of the highest, hardest-to-reach places on buildings and signs in the southeast Idaho town.

"All these buildings in Old Town are cool and they don't deserve that," said Andrea Kern, an employee at Pegasus bookshop, which has been tagged several times. Kern has scoured social websites for clues to the person's identity.

"If I catch him, he's walking the plank," she said.

Business owners say they fear glorifying the person by offering a reward but are tired of spending money to paint over the tough-to-reach graffiti placed on historic buildings that owners are trying to preserve.

"Then here comes this guy in the middle of the night and paints his mark in the most inaccessible and unreachable places he can get to," said Lance Buttars, owner of Molinelli's Jewelers. "It's a destructive pastime."

A reward account has been set up at Key Bank, whose sign is one of the highest points in town and was previously defaced with the BZR initials.

Kirk Reeder, co-owner of Jordan & Co., put up the first $200 of the reward money. He said police are keeping track of the amount of damage being done by the BZR Bandit.

"If he'd stop and walk away, maybe he gets away with it," Reeder said. "It's kind of a loser's game. Eventually the guy will get caught."


Information from: Idaho State Journal,

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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