Suspect arrested in alleged theft of a Banksy stop sign decorated with military drones

Suspect arrested in alleged theft of a Banksy stop sign decorated with military drones

Suspect arrested in alleged theft of a Banksy stop sign decorated with military drones

A guy was arrested Saturday on suspicion of stealing a Banksy artwork depicting a stop sign adorned with three military drones, according to London police.

The Metropolitan Police said a guy in his twenties was being held on suspicion of theft and criminal damage.

The sign was photographed less than an hour after the enigmatic street artist shared a snapshot of his work on his Instagram page on Friday.

A man with bolt cutters climbed up on a bicycle to remove the work from a sign post on a street corner in the south London neighbourhood of Peckham, while another man steadied the bike. The man who cut the sign loose then raced away holding it.

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 that 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.”

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.

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.