Prolific Graffiti Artist Brags Over Instagram, Earns 23 Counts of Felony Vandalism


If we’ve said it once, we’ve said a thousand times: don’t post illegal activity to Instagram. Because while the photo sharing service does sometimes seem to be the domain of teenaged girls with a duck face problem and hipsters who would like to share their latte with you, the police also spend time on there.

That’s a lesson notorious NYC graffiti artist Peter Podsiadlo, better known as SEMP, learned the hard way this week when his Instagram photos earned him 23 felony counts of vandalism.

The prolific tagger, it seems, enjoyed sharing his work over Instagram using the hashtag #semp516 and an account by the same name. According to the New York Post, he had been caught back in March for possession of graffiti materials, and so cops had been watching his Instagram closely ever since.

Less than three months later, SEMP’s gratuitous photography earned him a visit to Queens Criminal Court… so we’ll say it one more time: don’t post illegal activity to Instagram. You might end up like SEMP, or worse yet, this guy whose selfies led to 142 felony charges… yikes.

(via New York Post)

  • Bill Binns

    Best thing I’ve heard all day. Hopefully he does some real time and when he gets out he’s on the hook for the thousands of dollars in damage he’s done to people’s property.

  • Pickle

    Good. These guys aren’t artists. If they want to be called artists and not criminals, they can ask a business their permission to use the side of their building and make an event of it that brings in customers to the business too. Many run down areas appreciate that.

  • the truth hurts

    reminds me of the time when london was having alot of riots and teens raided stores.. stole games/ consoles etc… and put it on twitter bragging about it… shortly they were arrested

  • Chang He

    Now this is some good government use of social media.

  • BigEnso

    “[S]o we’ll say it one more time: don’t post illegal activity to Instagram.”

    Better advice would be to not engage in illegal activity.

  • OtterMatt

    Or, at the very least, paint something, yanno, ARTFUL, and not just your freaking tag everywhere. Love him or loathe him, but you have to admit that at least Banksy tries to make a point.

  • Fullstop

    Yep I have no love for “graffiti artists”. I can appreciate a great wall mural any day, but these people are not artists. They’re losers without jobs who are searching for some relevance in the world so they spread their “tag” all over people’s property as if to claim it.
    It’s probably rooted in some kind of mental condition.

  • Beaugrand_RTMC

    Logical advice:

    “[S]o we’ll say it one more time: don’t post illegal activity to Instagram.”

    Better advice:

    “Always post illegal activity to Instagram.”

    Police budgets have been trimmed everywhere, let’s save them some money. Also, please include your real name and contact information in your “selfies.”

  • RandomDesign

    Sorry but SEMP is a tagger, not an artist.

  • dwyur

    such negative judgmental dweebs on here