Thursday, March 7, 2013
Phone Jacks Gets Busted!!!
Although not an artist, arguably LA's most prolific wheat paster known as 'Phone Jacks' got busted by the LAPD.
Phone Jacks would put up posters advertising his services. He was incredibly prolific and got up all over LA. Many street artists held personal beef with Phone Jacks because he seemed to go out of his way to cap pieces of art with his advertisements. But there was no questioning how much Phone Jacks got up, and it really is impressive how elusive Phone Jacks has been while getting up. M&F gets sent pictures of nearly everything on the streets at some point, but in all the years doing this we have never been sent pics of Phone Jacks in action.
Phone Jacks got busted when the LAPD along with the city Code Enforcement Division, set up a sting by hiring Phone Jacks to come and install some, well, phone jacks.
If convicted, Phone Jacks could receive punishment of up to 2 1/2 years in jail and a $5,000 fine. The man busted by the police sting and thought to be Phone Jacks claims that day laborers were hired to put up his posters at night. Phone Jacks himself has still never actually been caught red handed putting up posters, and even after the sting more Phone Jacks posters have reportedly gone up on the streets.
This particular arrest raises some interesting questions because it has been rumored in the community that it is legal to put up flyers of a certain size, and as long as the pasters which are being put up are smaller than 18x12, it is said that they are legal. M&F has heard this mentioned multiple times, but we cannot verify what the actual LA city code says. However, Phone Jacks was not charged with putting up the pasters, he was charged with using public property for advertising. Does this mean that if artists in LA wheat paste art, not advertising, on public property, and the size is smaller than 18x12, does that mean that the small art would be legal? Would that mean that every sticker, as long as it is not an advertisement, is not against the law?
Hmmm . . . . Any lawyers out there?
(Those interested can read the original article on Phone Jacks' arrest HERE.)