This Graffiti Fanboy Steals Priceless Street Art Under the Cloak of Darkness
On the prowl with the Thomas Crown of the New York City streets.
Photos by Vincent Tullo
Tommy is a bit jumpy. The six-foot Queens, New York, native, his closely cropped, dirty blonde hair covered by a black hoodie, just downed a Red Bull in his car. It’s well after midnight on a weekday and now he’s ordering a can of Coke with two extra-spicy chicken tacos from a food truck.
Tommy, who asked that his name be changed to protect him from retaliatory acts, knows this Bedford Avenue corner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is not the ideal location to commit what many in the street art community consider a crime. The fire engine red food truck has a scrawling LED sign advertising its menu, and there’s light pouring onto the sidewalk from a bodega. But a police patrol car just sauntered past and continued down the block, so Tommy knows they won’t be back for a while. Plus, earlier, New York endured a three-hour downpour, softening the glue behind an indeterminable number of posters affixed to walls by some of the most respected street artists in the world. And …