IMAGE: New York graffiti tag
This New York City subway car bears the graffiti tag "Ether", which police believe belongs to Jim Clay Harper.
updated 8/22/2008 4:54:54 AM ET 2008-08-22T08:54:54

While other tourists were sightseeing in Europe this summer, Jim Clay Harper and Danielle Bremner spray-painted their way across the continent, police say.

Investigators suspect the couple put their respective graffiti tags — "Ether" and "Dani" — on train cars in London; Madrid, Spain; Paris; Frankfurt and Hamburg, Germany, and elsewhere starting in May. When they flew home this week, police officers greeted them with handcuffs.

Bremner was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on a warrant alleging a graffiti spree that caused tens of thousands of dollars in property damage to New York's transit system. She was being held there Thursday while awaiting extradition to New York.

Harper pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to related charges of felony criminal mischief and burglary after being arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He was released without bail.

If convicted, each faces up to seven years in prison.

There was no immediate response to a message left with Harper's attorney. Prosecutors did not have the name of Bremner's attorney, and there was no listing for a home phone.

The NYPD plans to share information with authorities in Europe if they want to pursue cases against Bremner and Harper for their alleged summer graffiti spree, said Chief James P. Hall, the transit bureau commander.

He said the couple also could face more charges in New York involving subway trains that were parked for the night.

Going global
Police said the arrests, first reported Thursday in Newsday, were unusual because they involved a woman facing felony charges — most suspects are men who get off with misdemeanors — and because she and her boyfriend went international. Bremner had previously been linked to graffiti in Boston and Pittsburgh, said Sgt. Kevin Cooper, who investigated the Manhattan case.

"She likes to travel," he said.

In this case, the charges are felonies because of the degree of damage they are accused of causing.

Two-year investigation
Bremner, 26, a native New Yorker who attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and also goes by the tag "Utah," has been under investigation for nearly two years, Cooper said. After putting her under surveillance, investigators learned that she was dating Harper, another member of a graffiti underground known for hyping its exploits by posting photos on the Internet, he said.

Harper, 23, of Chicago, was a member of Made U Look, a graffiti crew notorious for plastering a parked subway train top to bottom with a Monopoly board game motif during an overnight raid in late 2006, Cooper said.

"No piece of that train was left uncovered," he said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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