Oregon Police Uncover Extensive Graffiti Operation, Warrant Arrest For ‘GIMER’ Tagger

Law enforcement officers seized thousands of dollars’ worth of paint and other materials related to vandalism during a search of a graffiti vandal’s home. The operation took place on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in the Centennial Neighborhood.

The Neighborhood Response Team (NRT) from Central Precinct, along with support from the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and the Strategic Services and Prosecution Unit at the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, executed a search warrant at a residence located in the 1800 block of Southeast 174th Avenue. 

The target of the search was James S. Fischel, a notorious graffiti artist responsible for the widespread “GIMER” (Graffiti Is Me Escaping Reality) tags across the city. Fischel’s residence also served as a supply hub for other graffiti vandals. 

During the search, law enforcement officers made a startling discovery. They confiscated over 1,500 cans of spray paint, with an estimated value exceeding $10,000. The sheer quantity of paint seized suggests the scale of Fischel’s operation and the extent of his influence in the graffiti community.

The investigation into the activities of 40-year-old Fischel began in mid-May when Officers Nathan Kirby-Glatkowski and Amelia Flohr became aware of a docuseries on YouTube called “CHAOSTOWN.” One episode of the series, titled “Portland is losing the graffiti war,” featured Fischel, who had made significant efforts to conceal his identity. However, Officers Kirby-Glatkowski and Flohr were able to positively identify Fischel and locate the residence where he stored his vast supply of spray paint, which he referred to as “every graffiti writer’s fantasy” in the docuseries.

While Fischel is currently not in the area, law enforcement agencies are aware of his whereabouts and are actively pursuing criminal charges against him. The Central NRT team is continuing its investigations into this case, as well as other instances of graffiti vandalism in the city.