Earlier, we reported how it looked like Shepard Fairey was leaving his mark on more than just buildings Dan Gilbert owns. Now, Detroit Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of the Los Angeles-based artist.

Detroit as of late has become a “mecca” for street artists, even to the point there’s a small tourist market for artists looking for walls to do their work on, as well as street taggers and others.

However, this may send a clear message they’re not welcome in the city. A warrant seeking to charge Shepard Fairey with malicious destruction of property over $1,000 and less than $20,000 has been drawn up. Punishment, if found guilty, is up to five years in prison and a fine three times the damage of the crime monetarily, though rarely is the maximum handed out. The total amount of damage for the nine places that are pressing charges? $9,105.54.

Shepard Fairey Mural on the side of the HQ of Quicken Loans
Shepard Fairey Mural on the side of the HQ of Quicken Loans. Daily Detroit Photo.

Fairey was in town to paint a large mural on the side of a Gilbert-owned building. It was his largest mural to date, at s 184-feet-by-60-feet. Gilbert recently went after three Grosse Pointe teens for tagging some properties earlier this year. Also, Mayor Mike Duggan has a long history, even when he was prosecutor, of having little tolerance for graffiti.

“Just because he is a well-known artist does not take away the fact that he is also a vandal,” said Detroit Police Sgt. Rebecca McKay, who oversees the city’s graffiti task force to the Free Press. “And that’s what we consider was done, in these instances, was vandalism.”

We wonder what you think. Should Fairey be prosecuted? Should police focus on crimes like these?

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