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Police catch pro-Trump graffiti artist with fake wall

File photo of US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP New York, NY, USA Mar 20, 2019, 08.20 AM (IST)

President Donald Trump has struggled to convince lawmakers the US needs a wall along its southern border. But in New York, police heeded his advice to catch a pro-Trump graffiti artist: yes, they built a wall.

Transit Chief Edward Delatorre told journalists Tuesday that officers put up the fake wall to catch the tagger spraying "#LoveTrump" in a subway station in the city's Brooklyn borough.

The recurring message emblazoned on beams in the mezzanine of the station had sparked a slew of complaints since January from both passengers and transportation employees at the station, Delatorre said.

Officers plotted with New York's transit authority to put up a plywood wall with a door, which officers hid in for a plainclothes operation starting on March 12.

Three days later, the vandal took the bait. Police identified him as Jamie Montemarano, 43, and charged him for graffiti and criminal mischief.