Banksy artwork stolen in London; Suspect arrested

A person suspected of stealing an artwork By Banksy A stop sign decorated with three military drones was arrested on Saturday, London police said.

The Metropolitan Police said a man in his 20s was in custody on suspicion of theft and criminal damage.

The sign was taken less than an hour after the elusive street artist posted a photo of the work His Instagram page Friday.

A man removes Banksy's artwork of what looks like three drones on a traffic stop sign after it was posted at the junction of Southampton Way and Commercial Way in London's Beckham neighbourhood. December 22, 2023.

Aaron Soun/PA ​​Images via Getty Images

The video shows a man riding a bicycle with bolt cutters to remove work from a signpost on a street corner in Peckham, south London, while another man stabilizes the bike. The person who cut the free sign took it in hand and ran away.

In the video of the incident, a voice is heard saying, „This really annoys me,” as the man runs away.

A witness, who only wanted to be known as Alex, told the PA news agency that the small crowd that had come to see the work watched in awe as the scene unfolded.

„We said, 'What are you doing? But nobody really knows what to do, and we've seen it happen,'” Alex said. „We were all a bit confused; we heard car horns blaring.”

Jasmine Ali, deputy chairperson of the local borough council, called for the piece to be withdrawn.

„It shouldn't have been taken down and we want it back so everyone in the community can enjoy Banksy's amazing work,” Ali said.

The stop code is changed.

Banksy's thought-provoking and satirical art is often aimed at war. Many of his followers on Instagram interpreted the work as a call for a ceasefire Israel-Hamas war.

The artist, who has been anonymous since the 1990s, revealed His first name was discovered to be „Robbie” in a 2003 radio interview with BBC reporter Nigel Wrench.

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