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The Fuzz on Buket

from the LA Times

Tagger whose work allegedly appears on YouTube is arrested

Alleged tagger arrested after work appears on YouTube


“Buket” seen applying his moniker to an MTA bus in broad daylight as passersby and passengers watch in surprise.


By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer May 28, 2008


Cyrus Yazdani is a 24-year-old San Jose State University graduate with a degree in art and a job as a convention planner in Las Vegas.

But authorities say Yazdani is also “Buket,” one of Los Angeles’ most prolific taggers who is featured in several heavily viewed YouTube videos defacing signs and buses. His most popular video — with nearly 170,000 page views — shows him clambering behind the Hollywood Freeway sign near Melrose Avenue and tagging the structure as traffic speeds below.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators arrested Yazdani on Tuesday, saying that his moniker has marked hundreds of freeway overpasses, concrete walls and transit buses across the state and southern Nevada. He is believed responsible for upward of $150,000 in property damage along the Los Angeles River and in the areas patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department — and at least that much in other parts of California.

Yazdani was nabbed when he showed up to meet with his probation officer and booked on multiple charges of felony vandalism.

Authorities are used to dealing with graffiti vandals — even those who display their handiwork on the Internet. But there is general agreement that “Buket” is different.

According to investigators, Yazdani is a professional graphic artist. Though he works in Las Vegas, he is frequently in Los Angeles, living with roommates at a downtown Los Angeles loft. He moved to Los Angeles two years ago, authorities said.

He’s older than many taggers — but his age hasn’t kept him down, said Sheriff’s Deputy Devin Vanderlaan, who has tracked Buket for months.

“He’s one of the most prolific taggers we’ve seen,” Vanderlaan said. “He’s on buses, overpasses, in the L.A. riverbed — he’s everywhere.” 

The investigators said they spotted four “Buket” scrawls Tuesday during the short trip from downtown to the Crenshaw District to pick Yazdani up at the probation office.

But you don’t have to drive throughout L.A. to see “Buket’s” work — and that’s what did him in, authorities said.


“Buket,” they said, became something of an Internet sensation with the daredevil tagging 20 feet above the busy Hollywood Freeway — vandalism captured on videotape and posted with a rap soundtrack on You Tube and numerous tagger-related blogs.    

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Posted on May 28, 2008 by Editor

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