MBTA Police Issue Warrant for Vandal Who Allegedly Defaced Train Cars

The suspect tagged his moniker on two vehicles that are part of a display at Boylston Street Station.
Photo by Steve Annear

Photo by Steve Annear

Transit Police officials said they’ve identified the person who allegedly tagged and spray-painted two historic trolleys housed at the Boylston Street MBTA stop in January, and they’re asking for the public’s help locating his whereabouts.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Daniel Nelligan, 25, for felony vandalism charges and trespassing on MBTA property, according to MBTA officers.

Police said the warrant for Nelligan’s arrest was issued out of Boston Municipal Court’s Central Division after the alleged suspect failed to appear for his arraignment.

Police claim that Nelligan is responsible for marking two trolleys that are part of a mini-museum display at the Green Line’s Boylston Street stop. In January, officials found black-and-white markings covering the vehicles. Police said the incident happened sometime between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

One of the trolleys, a PCC 3295, Car No. 3295, is one of the last of its kind, and was covered with the word “FUGUE.” The Pullman-Standard Company, based in Lowell, built the trolley in the 1950s. It was restored 30 years later and donated to the T.

The second trolley, donated for display by the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine, had less damage but was still marked by white spray paint. The Brill Car Company built that car specifically for Boston’s subway system in 1924.

Police said they identified Nelligan as the suspect in the case as the result of a joint investigation with the Boston Police Department, and the BU Police—specifically, two officers with “vast knowledge and experience in graffiti investigations.”

The case led them to additional vandalism in other parts of the city that police believe Nelligan might be responsible for as well. “In these instances we believe Nelligan vandalized locations in Allston,” said Lieutenant Detective Richard Sullivan, of the Transit Police Special Crimes Unit. “We are committed to identifying, and in conjunction with the various District Attorney’s, prosecuting graffiti vandals who damage and deface MBTA property.”

Luckily for riders and the MBTA, the trolleys were not completely destroyed. Just days after T officials discovered the vandalism on the two train cars, crews set out and spent an entire night scrubbing off the graffiti with high-powered machinery and special cleaning supplies.


Steve Annear Steve Annear, Digital Writer at Boston Magazine sannear@bostonmagazine.com


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