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The Anderson Police Department in California returned a massive 40ft x 80ft American flag to Camping World after someone stole and vandalized it on Monday night.
Police said they found it draped over Cottonwood school with graffiti written all over it. They also said a note on a cardboard box was left on the front door of Camping World.
The note said the reason why the thief stole the flag was because children were allegedly dying in the area due to the lack of crosswalks on Gas Point Road and the city was allegedly doing nothing about it.
To get some attention about the matter, the angry criminal cut the internal wire inside the flag pole, causing the flag to collapse to the ground.
The flag’s counterweight and lighting was also destroyed as the flag fell and dented up the roof of Camping World before falling to the dirty ground.
Veterans Jason Danielson and Sean Freyne who both work at Camping World spoke with reporters about the incident and said half the staff are veterans and they were all very upset with the situation.
“To have someone who may or may not have experienced what we did, to do something to that flag in that nature is extremely personal and hurtful more so than someone coming up to me and punching me in the face,” Jason told Action News Now. “I think I’m more hurt by this than any kind of physical violence that could happen to me.”
Jason believes that the flag was targeted because of its massive size and prominence in the area. After Sean shared photos of the flag and note on Facebook, he says that they have received a lot of support from the community.
“I’ve had people offer to do a fundraiser,” Sean said. “We’re not looking for any financial support on this, we’re going to get that flag back up in the air and we’re going to fly it high, we’re going to fly it proudly, and we’re going to pray that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.”
The graffitied flag was brand new, only being on the pole for two weeks before it was stolen. Sean’s hoping they can clean the graffiti off so they don’t have to replace it.
However, if they do have to replace it, Sean told Action Now News that it could cost up to $5,000 to get a new flag and pole. Today’s price for a new flag cost $2,000 and for a new pole and specialist to come install it cost $3,000.
The police are charging the criminal with felony vandalism if they are ever caught. The Anderson Police Department asks those with information on the incident to contact them. More on the story in the video below…
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