A tarp with the letter “B” was draped over the “W,” while a white dash was placed across the “D” in order to make it appear as a “B.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that five men and one woman were seen on video surveillance around 1:15 p.m. When a police helicopter arrived, they could see the group move back down the steep terrain toward the famed Mulholland Drive.
Officers met them at the bottom and their identities have not yet been announced.
The incident cannot be classified as vandalism “because the sign wasn’t damaged,” Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Capt. Steve Lurie, the Hollywood area commander said, per the outlet.
The six will be charged with misdemeanor trespassing and released, he said.
According to Deadline, one of the arrestees told an officer that the gag was done in an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer.
Additionally, the outlet reports that police presence will be increased for several days and possibly weeks because of the incident.
The sign is not accessible to the public, though visitors can visit the surrounding Griffith Park. The sign is maintained by a group called the Hollywood Sign Trust.
A rep for the trust told the LA Times that the LAPD’s speedy response was appreciated.
Trust chairman Mark Panatier said that altering the sign is wrong no matter the cause, and added: “It’s unfortunate that such an important icon for the city of LA is not being appreciated.”
“This is an icon that’s there for visual reinforcement of the importance of Hollywood, not just for the city of L.A. but to the world,” he said. “It needs to be upheld, it doesn’t need to be demeaned.”
In 2017, the sign was famously altered to read “Hollyweed” when tarps were used to alter both “O” letters” to “E.”