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Suspect arrested for alleged theft of Banksy work

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Banksy's work depicting drones covers a stop sign in London, Britain, December 22, 2023.

Associated Press

Man suspected of stealing a work of art by Banksy which depicts a red stop sign decorated with three military drones was arrested on Saturday, London police announced.

A man in his 20s has been taken into custody on suspicion of theft and criminal damage, the Metropolitan Police said.

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

A video showed a man equipped with bolt cutters climbing onto a bicycle to remove fasteners from a panel of signage on a street corner in Peckham, south London, while another man steadied the bike. The man who cut the panel then ran away holding it in his hand.

A voice on a video of the incident could be heard saying This annoys me so much! as the man fled.

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A witness who only wanted to be called Alex told the Associated Press that the small crowd of people who showed up to see the' The work had stood there watching the scene unfold.

The crowd reportedly asked the man what he was doing, but no one knew what to do, Alex said.

We simply watched it happen. We were all a little perplexed; there were car horns.

A quote from Alex, a witness to the theft

The deputy head of the local borough council, Jasmine Ali, requested that the work be returned.

It should not have been removed and we would like it to be returned so that everyone in the community can enjoy Banksy's brilliant work, Ms Ali said .

The stop sign has been replaced.

Banksy's satirical and provocative art often aims at war. Many of his followers on Instagram interpreted this work as a call for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116