Police are investigating the theft of thousands of prints made by the Hackney-based artist Stik that were to be distributed to all Hackney residents.
The street artist worked alongside Hackney council to deliverer 100,000 prints of one of his artworks to every household in the borough as a gift to lift spirits after the hardship caused by Covid-19 and lockdown.
The prints feature a drawing of Stik’s Holding Hands sculpture installed in Hoxton Square and were to be received via the late September edition of council-led Hackney Today newspaper.
Even though most prints reached their intended destination, more than a thousand households failed to receive a copy.
After some of the copies were discovered being sold online, Hackney council reported the issue the local police.
Detective Constable James Readman, of the Metropolitan Police’s central east command unit, said: “It appears at this stage that somewhere along the supply and distribution chain, boxes containing thousands of copies of the print have been taken without permission and sold on. I urge anyone who has information as to the whereabouts of large quantities of the missing prints to make contact with us so that we can right this wrong and help ensure they end up with the people that were intended to receive them.”
A thousand copies of the missing prints bought by a fan were returned. However, a large amount of copies is still nowhere to be found.
The artist Stik said: “These artworks were intended as a gift to the people of Hackney, any which are returned will be re-distributed to those who missed out.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 citing reference number CRIS 4626404/20 or can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 11.