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Posted on Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

Ann Arbor teenager suspected in graffiti tagging arraigned on felony vandalism charge

By Kyle Feldscher

One of the Ann Arbor teenagers arrested and accused of tagging city buildings with graffiti has been arraigned on a felony charge, according to court records.


Jacob Saalberg

Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office

Jacob Saalberg, 17, is facing one count of malicious destruction of property worth more than $1,000 but less than $20,000, according to court records. He was released from the Washtenaw County Jail Monday on a $15,000 personal recognizance bond.

Saalberg is accused of tagging 220 Felch St. in mid-March. Robert Cleveland, the owner of the building, said he had paid $3,000 to have the building totally cleaned of graffiti on March 10 and spray paint appeared on the building just days later.

Saalberg was arrested Thursday and arraigned on the charges Monday, according to court records. A search warrant executed on his residence revealed spray paint cans, paint pens and electronics showing evidence of graffiti, according to Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush.

If convicted, Saalberg faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. In addition, Cleveland is considering a civil suit.

Ann Arbor police also arrested an 18-year-old Ann Arbor man who was allegedly tagging playground equipment and trashcans at Ann Arbor’s Las Vegas Park Saturday afternoon. He had not been arraigned as of Tuesday morning, according to court records.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Basic Bob

Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

Tagging may be destructive and illegal, and still artistic. These young men can learn to harness their creative energy in positive ways.

Paula Gardner

Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

We're closing comments on this story. While some readers are offering thoughtful remarks on the story and other comments are less constructive, just about all of them cannot be allowed due to our guidelines about presuming guilt.

Paula Gardner

Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

We just went through and removed several comments. Many were thoughtful, but included elements that we don't allow in comments. Please be sure that your comments don't presume guilt.


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

Thank you!!


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

In 2010, he was 3rd place in a Graffiti Contest sponsored by AADL.......


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 8:30 p.m.

And quick Google search also tells us that he won "honorable mention" for a LEGO building contest at AADL in 2007....


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

I also think that AADL needs to quit sponsoring a graffiti contest: The Graffiti Art Contest has occurred each year during the Ann Arbor Art Fairs since 2003. Teens in Grades 6-12 are invited to come down and make a piece in the library parking lot using materials provided by the library. All entries are displayed in a month-long exhibit in the library. Perhaps A2PD should google the winners from past years, and see if they are running around our city with spray paint, too.

Dog Guy

Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

I have my torch and pitchfork at the ready.

Don B. Arfkahk

Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

His graffiti sucked... it was detrimental to the image of Ann Arbor, not beneficial like the work of some highly talented artists. So, why not make him spend the summer cleaning up graffiti? Done. No need to screw up the rest of his life with years in prison and a criminal record, pushing him toward a life of crime rather than giving him an out. Him in prison benefits no one - except me, because I have invested money in the private prisons of Michigan's future and stand to make a fortune. Tom Joad - if he can be charged as an adult based on his maturity, why can't 20 year olds be treated as an adult when found with alcohol?

Don B. Arfkahk

Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 6:25 p.m. LA has been allowing talented artists to paint stuff like that in run down neighborhoods. It turns eyesores into something to admire, and makes these places more pleasant to live in and visit as well as instilling a sense of pride in the community.


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

Please lets us know which of the graffiti "artist" pass your test. That way we can arrange for some "beneficial work" to be done on your house by a "highly talented artist "


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

Seriously? Where do you live? I'd like to send some "talented" graffiti artists to work on your house and car. Apparently you have no problem with having your things vandalized as long as the art is high quality.

Tom Joad

Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.

Hope they charge him as an adult...which is probably the case otherwise they wouldn't print his photo...No judicial mercy for taggers...the entire town is overrun by graffiti.