Banksy artwork ‘stolen’ from Peckham street less than one hour after going up

A Banksy artwork has been “stolen” from a street in Peckham less than an hour after it was put up.

Two men were pictured using a Lime bike to remove a traffic stop sign covered with three aircraft resembling military drones in Commercial Way, Peckham, after it was confirmed to be an official work by the globally renowned artist.

Banksy confirmed the artwork was his in a social media post on Friday shortly after midday. Two men were seen taking down the sign at the intersection of Southampton Way and Commercial Way in Peckham at around 12.30pm.

The man stood on a Lime bike to steal the Banksy artwork (Picture: PA)

A man who witnessed the removal said he “watched in awe” as a man “bashed it with his hands”.

The witness, who wanted to be referred to only as Alex, rode a Lime bike to the artwork, which was then used by another man to stand on as he removed the art.

The 26-year-old told the PA news agency: “This guy comes up and grabs it, we watched in awe as he bashed it. He put the Lime bike under the sign, stood on the Lime bike and tried to hit the sign, he hit it with his hands and it wasn’t going anywhere.”

The man removing the sign wearing a red jacket reportedly fled with it after just 60 seconds after onlookers shouted at him to stop. He left the bolt cutters behind.

The man managed to take the artwork in around a minute (Picture: PA)

A spokesman for the Met said: “We haven’t received any reports in relation to this. Any victim who wishes to report a crime should call 101 or contact us online.”

Banksy has not yet commented on the events but had been warned by a social media user: “The sign will be snatched pronto.”

The drones on the piece resembled those on another artwork, Civilian Drone Strike, which depicted them destroying a house while a little girl and her dog watch on in horror.

It was sold for £200,000 to raise funds in opposition to a London arms fair.

Pictured top: The man in the red jacket uses bolt clippers to remove the Banksy artwork (Picture: PA)

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