Graffiti idiots The Creeps – Mark Crawley and Samuel Hurst – due for sentencing after several graffiti attacks on the NSW Central Coast

THE notorious graffiti crew “The Creeps” has been smashed with two men, known by their Instagram handles as Captaindickhole and _ken_worth_, due to be sentenced next month.

The pair have pleaded guilty to 76 counts of graffiti following a two-month investigation by Operation Greyline set up in response to a scurge of graffiti attacks on the Central Coast.

Scouring Instagram, the social media “system of choice” for posting images and bragging of their graffiti exploits, police identified five separate taggers; “Kudos, Spel, Sluts, Welt and Dors” as members of The Creeps.
Supplied pics tendered to re The Creeps.
Supplied pics tendered to re The Creeps. Source: Supplied

Cross-referencing various comments and posts officers were able to link the ringleaders’ graffiti tags to their Instagram handles, which uncovered the real life identity of Mark Crawley (Captaindickhole), 22, of East Gosford, also known as “Spel” and Samuel Francis Hurst (_ken_worth_), 23, of Kariong, AKA “Kudos”.

Crawley, who pleaded guilty to six counts of graffiti, was easily undone when under the handle of Captaindickhole he posted a picture of his paycheck on Instagram complaining of the amount of tax. Police checks of his bank account details cemented his identity.
Supplied pic tendered to court re The Creeps.

Supplied pic tendered to court re The Creeps. Source: Supplied

The police Vandaltrack system had meanwhile identified more than 125 tags as belonging to the nefarious group around the Gosford area, including one 400km round trip to Kiama where they and two other un-identified vandals bombed an eight-car train and nearby overpass with a series of murals, some covering the entire sides of carriages.
Supplied pic tendered to court re The Creeps.

Supplied pic tendered to court re The Creeps. Source: Supplied

Google Maps searches and “Geo Coding” contained on mobile phones seized in separate raids of their homes on May 30 – along with spray cans, t-shirts and cameras – enabled police to place them travelling from the Central Coast to the Illawarra at the time of the offence.

Police facts tendered to Gosford Local Court, where the pair appeared yesterday, described the attack as “well researched, planned and executed”.

`”Seized telephone records after the offence also show the accused (Crawley) bragging about the offences to another graffiti offender the day after,” the facts read.

“Given the clean up rates, these offences are in the range of tens of thousands of dollars to both members of the public and the taxpayer via City Rail.”

In all, police seized more than 8000 images of graffiti, many of which attributed to the group and posted on Instagram, along with videos of themselves in the act.

In the videos shot on a camera with the date and time incorrectly stamped – “a commonly used anti-detection tactic in the graffiti community” – they used t-shirts to cover their faces.

But in two of the videos Hurst is easily identified by a large tattoo on his left calf.
Pic of Samuel Hurst AKA

Pic of Samuel Hurst AKA “Kudos” tendered to Gosford Local Court. Source: Supplied

The graffiti attacks ranged from the mindless to the carefully planned, with police uncovering a post by Crawley’s girlfriend of a hand drawn picture of the tag Spel on a piece of paper and the comment “for me” in November only for the life-size mural to appear on a train carriage at Gosford two months later.

In another incident the pair went on a 2km-long graffiti rampage after a night of drinking at the Elanora Hotel at East Gosford on March 23, in which more than 50 tags were sprawled on everything from road side barriers, street signs, bus shelters, fences, power poles and businesses.

Hurst, who after his arrest made full admissions in a recorded interview, was charged with 33 of the tags and a further 37 historical counts of graffiti dating back to 2010 on trains, buildings and a toilet cubicle at Bunnings, Tuggerah.
Pic of tags done by Samuel Hurst tendered to Gosford Local Court.

Pic of tags done by Samuel Hurst tendered to Gosford Local Court. Source: Supplied

Outside court their solicitor Samar Singh-Panwar said they were remorseful and hoped to take part in the “de-tag” program, similar in nature to the driver offender’s course, which involved removing graffiti as part of their sentence.

They both acknowledge that they have done the wrong thing,” he said. Mr Singh-Panwar said they were “otherwise young men of good character” who looked forward “making amends” through the Forum Sentencing process in which they will sit down and apologise to the victims, including Rail Corp and two other property owners.

They return to court on October 28.

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