A New York City graffiti "anti-artist" who became notorious in the 1990s for his ubiquitous "Cost" sticker posters has been arrested after emerging from a 16-year hiatus, the NYPD says.
Police began investigating Adam Cole, a 45-year-old Queens native, after they spotted him walking away from scaffolding in the Meatpacking District that had a freshly affixed "Cost" poster with adhesive dripping from it early Sunday morning, police said.
The scaffolding was above a rare wine shop on West 13th Street.
Police said Cole was carrying an extendable pole with a wet brush attached to it, and his clothing appeared to be covered in goopy paste. They saw him walk to his car, where drums of glue and more long brushes could be seen from outside the car windows.
Police executed a search warrant on the car Wednesday and recovered hundreds of stickers and posters with "Cost" printed on them, as well as adhesives and brushes.
Cole was arrested on charges of criminal mischief, making graffiti and possession of a graffiti instrument in connection with nine separate graffiti incidents this year, including one in which he was captured on surveillance video tagging a bar on Gansevoort Street, police said.
He was released on bail after his arraignment, and is due back in court Friday. Attorney information wasn't immediately available.
Cole was one of the most prolific and high-profile graffiti artists in the 1990s but was only arrested a few times in 1994, once for using a broad-tip marker on a Queens subway wall and another for tagging his nickname on the steps of another train station, according to police.
He went underground for a few years, then resurfaced in 2010, police said. Investigators at the 6th Precinct began noticing fresh "Cost" stickers appearing again on walls and doors of buildings, and noted his presence on Instagram, where he posted new tags from across the city.
The "Cost" posters are affixed with very sticky wheat paste and "impossible" to get off surfaces, making it very expensive to remove, according to police.