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Here is Surveillance Footage of a Man Stealing a Kenny Scharf Mural from the East River Esplanade

The mural, pre-theft. FRIENDS OF THE EAST RIVER ESPLANADE

The mural, pre-theft. FRIENDS OF THE EAST RIVER ESPLANADE

The first iteration of Kenny Scarf’s 60-foot-long site-specific street art banner NEVERENDINGOGO was erected in East River Park June 22. A few days later, it was stolen. A replacement mural was installed again in July, but that was also stolen. Gothamist reports today that the NYPD has obtained video of the second theft—which went down August 20 at around 8:00 p.m—in action, and you can watch that below.

Jennifer Ratner of Friends of the East River Esplanade, who commissioned the piece, told Page Six that that the mural was attached by steel ties, and suspects that the thieves used wire cutters. Although they beefed up security for the second go, the banner was gone around a month later.

The surveillance tape shows a man with a ponytail and a tie dye-style shirt comically attempting to manage 60 feet of street art. He would go on to speed away in a “black or gray Honda Element.” What he was thinking, attempting to steal something of this magnitude (valued at $2,000, which makes the theft grand larceny) is anyone’s guess, but judging by the thief’s “overall vibe,” I can’t help but wonder if Burning Man might factor into this in some way, even if only abstractly. Respect to the video department at Gothamist for the evocative freeze frame work, which I would put on a mood board if I were developing a stoner comedy about art crimes.

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