Banksy stop sign artwork alleged thief arrested in London

Banksy stop sign artwork alleged thief arrested in London

/ 07:41 AM December 24, 2023

Banksy's stop sign artwork was allegedly stolen and London police said the suspected thief of the piece has been arrested.

A person removes a piece of art work by Banksy, which shows what looks like three drones on a traffic stop sign, which was unveiled at the intersection of Southampton Way and Commercial Way in Peckham, south east London, Friday Dec. 22, 2023. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

LONDON — A man suspected of stealing an artwork by Banksy of a stop sign adorned with three military drones, was arrested Saturday, London police said.

A man in his 20s was in custody on suspicion of theft and criminal damage, the Metropolitan police said.


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


READ: Banksy showcases new mural in war-scarred Ukrainian town

The video showed a man with bolt cutters climbing up on a bicycle to remove the work from a signpost on a street corner in the Peckham area of south London while another man steadied the bike. The man who cut the sign free then ran off with it in his hand.

A voice on a video of the incident could be heard saying, “It makes me so annoyed,” as the man ran away.

A witness who only wanted to be called Alex told the PA news agency that the small crowd of people who had shown up to view the work stood around watching in awe as the scene unfolded.

“We said, ‘What are you doing? But no one really knew what to do, we sort of just watched it happen,” Alex said. “We were all a bit bemused; there was some honking of car horns.”

READ: Banksy work stolen from outside Pompidou Centre in Paris


Jasmine Ali, deputy leader of the local borough council, called for the piece to be returned.

“It should not have been removed and we’d like it back so everyone in the community can enjoy Banksy’s brilliant work,” Ali said.

The stop sign was replaced.

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Banksy’s thought-provoking and satirical art often takes aim at war. Many of his followers on Instagram interpreted the work as calling for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

TAGS: art, Banksy, theft

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