Tipster's cell phone photo leads to arrest

November 21, 2008 3:02:19 PM PST
Police say a New York City subway rider snapped a cell phone picture of an 18-year-old scratching graffiti on a train window, leading to the suspect's arrest. Andrew Morello was arrested Friday on charges of making graffiti.

Police say a witness photographed Morello in the act Monday on an N train in Queens and sent the pictures to the city's tips hot line, which recently began accepting cell phone images and text messages. The images were passed onto the Citywide Vandals Task Force, which tracks down graffiti writers.

Police say Morello is a known graffiti writer.

Police say witnesses are reminded that they can call 911 to report a crime as they normally would, and then tell the operator that they have an image that might be helpful to the police.

That operator will then notify the NYPD's Real Time Crime Center, and a detective will contact the witness who will give them an address where they can send the photo via text message or email.

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