It wasn't the most well-planned of heists, but it took guts. Leon Lawrence has been accused of stealing Banksy piece 'Sperm Alarm,' painted on the wall of a four-star hotel in London earlier this year. What is a sperm alarm, you ask? 15 painted little sperms surrounding a real, Angus fire alarm.
Lawrence allegedly, though he denies it, put the piece up for auction on eBay for 17,000 pounds. There is hiding in plain sight and there is just plain sight... In court, Lawrence denied "theft, handling stolen goods, damaging property and attempting to convert or transfer criminal property." Lawrence's trial will begin May 2012.
The sad thing is, if Lawrence was only staying in Australia his actions would have been totally legal. Melbourne's Art series Hotels are holding a promotion which encourages guests to steal a Banksy. If you find it and you can nab it, the $15,000 work is yours. Maybe he got confused?
Check out a slideshow of some other Banksy works:
All images courtesy of The Andipa Gallery.