An artist who defaced several works of famed graffiti artist Banksy has been charged with the crime of vandalism -- which is pretty incredible since Banksy's collection is itself an act of vandalism.
David William Noll has been charged with FELONY vandalism. According to the criminal complaint -- obtained by TMZ -- Noll defaced 2 of Banksy's most famous works -- Girl on Swing and Peeing Dog.
The L.A. County D.A. filed FOUR separate vandalism charges, because Noll allegedly defaced both works and 5 days later went back and used paint remover on the walls. Max penalty -- 5 years in prison.
Noll could end up on L.A.'s stupidest criminals list ... because he recorded himself painting over Banksy's art, and then posted it on YouTube. The LAPD got a search warrant to get his info from YouTube, and then nabbed the 35-year-old at his mom's house in Modesto.
We asked the D.A. why they didn't also charge Banksy, since he too was a vandal ... and a bragger at that.
The D.A. says the only way they will prosecute for vandalism is if the property owner complains -- and Banksy got lucky ... no one complained about his art ... but they definitely weren't into Noll's handiwork.
According to the LAPD police report ... the company that owns the Girl On Swing building -- a jeweler called Tarina Tarantino -- believes Banksy's work increased the value of the property by $650,000.
The take away -- if you break the law, you better be real famous.