Officers tag “peyote” graffiti vandal; STGnews Videocast

NOTE: Video footage filmed in December 2014. 

ST. GEORGE – A two-week investigation ended with an arrest Friday night as officers apprehended a St. George man who allegedly went on a a graffiti spree in a St. George neighborhood over Christmas weekend.

Friday, St. George Police located and apprehended 22-year-old Levi Ray Billsie, of St. George, after mounting evidence indicated he had been responsible for the incidents.

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Levi Ray Billsie, booking photo posted Jan. 9, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The Fraudulent Identity and Security Threat Unit, more commonly known as the gang unit, began investigating the case after multiple graffiti complaints, spanning from 1000 N. Dixie Downs Road to 1500 N. Dixie Downs Road, were received during the weekend of Dec. 26. It was concluded that all the graffiti had been done in one evening by the same person, St. George Police Sgt. Johnny Heppler, who supervises the gang unit, said.

“He went on a tagging spree,” Heppler said.

On Dec. 26 at approximately 4 p.m., Billsie allegedly began plastering black and gold graffiti over a five-block span, tagging various public and private surfaces such as power boxes, sheds, mailboxes and block walls. A few days later, City of St. George crews were called out to remove the graffiti, which included messages like like “P3yot3,” “BSC Peyota,” “Sketch,” “13” and some illegible scribbles.

Spray paint cans that were linked to the vandalism were found in Billsie’s possession. Based on physical evidence and information obtained from interviews and surveillance of the area, Billsie was taken into custody and questioned by investigators. He later admitted to committing the crimes, Heppler said.

The alleged vandalism, Dec. 30, 2014 | Photo by Melissa Anderson, KCSG and St. George News
Vandalism on Dixie Downs Road, Dec. 30, 2014 | Photo by Melissa Anderson, KCSG and St. George News

Billsie, who also goes by the street name “Sketch,” painted gang-related symbols and words connected to a Southern California gang called Sureno 13.

The damages from the vandalism totaled about $8,000 dollars, Heppler said.

Billsie was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility on one second-degree felony charge for graffiti that resulted in $5,000 or more in damages. He is currently being held on $10,000 bail, according to current bookings information.

Graffiti in the City of St. George

The city usually has two to three new graffiti stains to clean up each week during the winter months, which is relatively low compared to summer, Bobby Randall, of the City of St. George’s Parks and Recreation Technical Unit, said.

“It’s an ongoing problem we have,” he said. “We probably spend a day a week removing new graffiti.”

The process of removing the graffiti from public property is time consuming, costly, and carried out at the expense of taxpayers.

Each square foot of cleanup costs $10 dollars, Randall said. If vandals are caught, they must pay the removal expenses as well as face prosecution.

When property is vandalized, St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said, it is found and removed as quickly as possible.

“We want people to realize it is a crime,” Despain said. “When people deface somebody else’s property, it can be very expensive to fix and clean off, and it’s something that our city and our Police Department takes very serious.”

Residents are encouraged to immediately report graffiti that is found on either public or private property, so it can be removed and the police can attempt to find those responsible.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Resources

  • To report vandalism, call the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300 or fill out this request form.
  • Additional information can be found here.

Related posts

Email: lbergeron@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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40 Comments

  • Gator January 9, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    I have seen people in the act of committing graffiti vandalism, here in Hurricane at least three times too. A favorite spot is coming down into Hurricane by Highway 59; there is a pullover overlooking the city with a radio tower just before you drop into the city. Anyway, around that spot, there is a small tunnel that can only be seen briefly if you happen to be driving past the La Verkin bridge back into Hurricane and you accidentally glance in that direction. The times I have caught glances of the vandal has been on late Sunday afternoons and he appears to wear a dark hoodie or dark clothing as he tags the tunnel. I’ve often daydreamed of driving to that lookout and parking my car to see who comes out, and maybe writing a license plate number or something. Thanks for dropping a tip line of where to call. I’ve often wondered who is in charge of vandal matters around here.

  • whocares January 9, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    What a worthless idiot that needs one between his eyes! So sick and tired of these punk thugs that need to be put in there place. Please break in my house, enough is enough!

  • Mean Momma January 9, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    For heavens sake, grow up already.

  • koolaid January 10, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Make him lick off all the graffiti

    • SUSAN January 11, 2015 at 10:24 am

      maybe give him the same punishment as the boys who kidnapped a girl and put in the trunk of their car? Oh wait, there was no punishment. So, then we need to do a fundraiser.

  • Evil Twins Mommy January 10, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Yeah I get tired of looking at that graffiti to

  • JOSH DALTON (INCOGNEGRO) January 10, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Gang….Bring it! This guy and this little gang of his does not realize this is where OGs come to retire. We have our own gang out here and they out number the Sureno 13. They are called the LDS 1-12 Stake. I think there are more than 12…anyway not to mention the Affliction T Shirt Clique and the Buckle Jean Bandits. Last but not least the Mossy Oak Marauders. This guy…

    • GladImNotWhite January 10, 2015 at 10:41 am

      “Can you dig it?!”….”Warriors come out to play-yaa”

    • LDS Gang Squad January 10, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      Ha ha ha, this is funny! Thanks for the laugh 🙂

  • Ken Carlton January 10, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Good job COP’S! I appreciate your hard work and follow up. NOW, we need a Judge who will stick this germ in jail for a long time. I don’t think we can afford to wait until he “GROWS UP”.

    • Evil Twins Mommy January 10, 2015 at 9:43 am

      He’s not going to serve time he’s going to get probation and community service and a fine and that’s as far as it will go

      • Gang Bangers Suck January 10, 2015 at 10:04 am

        I’m thinking you are right, mommy. What a snotty looking punk he is, just going by his picture. Maybe we should give him to you to raise up the right way. I’ll bet you’d change his name from “Sketch” to “Stretch” as you stretch his neck!

  • groanattack January 10, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Beware the DUMB PIES that walk amongst you!

  • Holger January 10, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Just wait until we get Joule Plaza built. 129 rental apartments in the heart of downtown. No sense of community or property ownership responsibility. Mr. Billsie and his ilk will have further opportunity to tag more vertical surfaces.

    • Evil Twins Mommy January 10, 2015 at 9:45 am

      And they will make no mistake about it you can bet on it

    • Betty January 10, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Well he’ll have to get a ride from the Dixie Downs area where he lives in order to tag anywhere else. And since most of his “crew,” who also live with him (or in the near vicinity), don’t have vehicles, I think the greater downtown area is safe. Maybe we should #fundraiser for art supplies and paper.

      • ladybugavenger January 10, 2015 at 8:09 pm

        I’m in, #fundraiserforartsuppliesandpaper

        • SUSAN January 11, 2015 at 10:25 am

          and a fundraiser for this kid, too.

          • Koolaid January 12, 2015 at 10:46 am

            Definitely needs some art classes and maybe some help with spelling and grammar. How about a full scholarship?

  • real life January 10, 2015 at 9:44 am

    What’s funny is the little puke thinks that he is cool. What a dork.

  • peteguy January 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Thank You St George Police! I cant stand these Dilenguient people that do this to private and public property! setting up a set of stocks at the mall and have them put in them for display would be good punishment!

  • George January 10, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Another piece of garbage from a trailer trash home. I’ll bet he didn’t get what he wanted for Christmas, and is all butt hurt about it.

  • Evil Twins Mommy January 10, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    He admitted doing the crime. LOL real tough gangster eh.?.

  • Big Bob January 10, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    You people whining saying you’re sick and tired of this “problem” are ridiculous. You act as if graffiti is such a huge issue plaguing the area. You are the ones that need to get lives and worry about real problems like drugs and the Mormon cult.

    • Shelly January 10, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      Wow, you need to get a life Big Bob. Why do you have to bring up any religion regarding this story? Graffiti and tagging have been going on all over the world for a long time, no doubt about it. Do you have any idea what has been going on in Paris, France in the last few days? Things could be a lot worse.

      • SUSAN January 11, 2015 at 1:02 pm

        SHELLY….people freaking about graffiti and calling this kid all sorts of names but when boys kidnap a teen girl and put her in a trunk, we hear “their just kids, who did something stupid.” That is from the majority of people around here and what religion is the majority??????????????

        • Koolaid January 12, 2015 at 10:49 am

          Same with a boy shoots a feral cat and those same people want him to go to prison, but when those boys assault the young girl, everyone acts like it was a silly prank (let it go) and gives her no support. Shows that their stupid feral cats and block walls are more worthy than young girls.

          • ladybugavenger January 12, 2015 at 5:24 pm

            What do we here from the majority in the cases that susan and koolaid bring up and ladybugavenger’s, hot topic, mom left baby in hot car? We hear, we all make mistakes.

          • ladybugavenger January 12, 2015 at 5:25 pm

            And the much overused, ” you think you’re perfect” ” do you walk on water”

    • THAT GUY January 11, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Bob you do not even have a clue at how hard this city works to keep this tagging cleaned up. Sounds like you got it all figured out. Not, this place would look like inner city LA if it were not for the effort this city makes to keep it cleaned up. If you hate Mormas so much why stay? If you see punks selling drugs call the cops…Instesd of complaining make an effort to make this place better.

      • ladybugavenger January 12, 2015 at 9:39 pm

        Well, if you see people selling drugs, from my experience ( of reporting my son and the dealer) it does no good. Remember, the drug task force has to set up their controlled buys and they don’t do it just because you tell them someone dealing drugs. And drugs are a bigger issue than graffiti, because you can’t clean up drugs like you can the graffiti. Let’s see LA county has 11 million people. The state of Utah has less than 400,000 so per capita drugs are a huge problem.

        • ladybugavenger January 12, 2015 at 10:26 pm

          Not 400,000. 2.9 million in the entire state of Utah. 11 million in one county vs 2.9 million in an entire state. This place is not yet close to the population of LA county. So I guess, I don’t see a huge graffiti problem here, but I do see a huge drug problem here. I look around at work, i look around the town and I ask myself, am I the only one not on drugs?

  • Are...ole January 10, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Please please please call in the Furgeson PD, enough with deadbeats
    Ed. ellipsis

    • mo ferguson January 12, 2015 at 11:25 am

      We don’t tolerate graffiti down here in Ferguson MO. If and when we find graffiti down here, we just burn the building we find it on, to the ground.

  • Evil Twins Mommy January 10, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Big Bob graffiti and drugs are all from the same animal… but your comment Mormon cult is from way out of left field on this article.. practice what you preach and get a life and worry about the crimes that plague the area. oh yeah religion is doing fine without your help. LOL.!

  • groanattack January 10, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Would bulldozing the Dixie Downs area improve life in Saint George?

  • koolaid January 10, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    I bet he’s from Dixie

  • anonymous January 11, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Looks like a revolving door on this one. Seems he likes to get himself in trouble
    http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/10/16/ccj-beer-thief-to-officers-i-want-3-square-meals-a-day/#.VLJ4nyvF9GQ

  • sagemoon January 11, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Scum bag.

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