LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (PIX11) — Two would-be art thieves were arrested Thursday after trying to steal Banksy’s final New York work.
As a crowd of Banksy fans flocked to Long Island City to see the last piece of the anonymous street artist’s month-long residency in New York, two men climbed the side of a building and cut down the graffiti balloons which spell out Banksy.
Some cursed at the duo as they took down the art work. As cops arrived, one of the would-be thieves jumped from a platform to the top of a truck before trying to take off with the work. But before he could get away, a Banksy fan and business owner tackled him until police could settle the situation.
One of the men involved in the heist who went by the name “Soner” claimed he wanted to put the art in a museum as police put him in the back of a squad car.
But many of the onlookers believe the pair was hoping to sell it. Another work by the artist donated to Housing Works, an organization dedicated to ending AIDS and homelessness, is currently being auctioned online for more than $300,000.
The Long Island City work, titled “An inflatable throw-up on the Long Island Expressway” is the last piece of Banksy’s month-long New York residency titled “Better Out Than In”.
After revealing the final work on his website, Banksy wrote, “Thanks for your patience. It’s been fun. Save 5pointz. Bye”