In a recent turn of events, London police have apprehended a second individual in connection with the theft and criminal damage of a Banksy artwork. This street art, which appeared on a south London street corner, was swiftly removed within hours of its emergence.
The Metropolitan Police Service of London confirmed the arrest of a man in his 20s on Saturday, following the artwork’s disappearance the day before. This individual has since been released on bail and is due to return mid-March for further inquiries.
The artwork, a creative installation by Banksy, featured a traffic stop sign embellished with images of three aircraft resembling military drones. It appeared at an intersection in the Peckham neighborhood on Friday morning. However, its existence was short-lived. Less than an hour after Banksy authenticated the piece via a social media post, bystanders recorded its removal. Footage showed a man using bolt cutters to detach the sign, assisted by another individual, with one of them seen fleeing with the artwork.
Initially, the London police reported no knowledge of the alleged crime. However, Southwark Council, which oversees local services including street signage, expressed their desire to retrieve the sign. Late Friday, the council reported the incident to the police, leading to the subsequent arrests.
By Saturday evening, Metropolitan Police announced one arrest, followed by the second on Sunday. The police are actively seeking information about the artwork’s removal and its current location.
Southwark Council’s deputy leader, councillor Jasmine Ali, condemned the unauthorized removal in a statement on Friday. Emphasizing the community’s right to enjoy Banksy’s work, Ali indicated that the council has sought police assistance to recover the stolen sign.