Trump star vandal arrested for Marilyn statue theft in Hollywood

Los Angeles (AFP) –


A man convicted of vandalizing President Donald Trump's sidewalk star in Hollywood last summer has been arrested for stealing a statue of Marilyn Monroe from a nearby monument.

Austin Clay, 25, was identified by police from video surveillance footage.

Having discovered that he was on parole after a conviction for damaging Trump's star on the famous Hollywood "Walk of Fame," investigators searched his home Friday.

According to local media reports, they found evidence linking him to the theft of the statue.

The statue itself -- showing Monroe in her famous flying skirt pose from "The Seven Year Itch" (1955) -- has not been found.

It had been perched atop a small gazebo at the beginning of the "Walk of Fame", part of a monument dedicated to Hollywood's most famous actresses.

According to authorities, a witness saw a man climbing the structure on the night of June 16 and using a saw to remove the statue.

Police fear the statue may have been damaged during the theft.

"Looking back at the (security) video, it would be reasonable that the statue broke and could be in multiple pieces," LAPD detective Douglas Oldfield told NBC4 television.

The suspect was arrested and detained over the weekend.

Clay made headlines in July 2018 when he vandalized Trump's star on the Hollywood sidewalk with a pickaxe he had hidden in a guitar case.

He was sentenced at the time to one day in prison, three years' probation and 20 days of community service, and ordered to attend psychological counselling.