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American Flag Thief Frustrates Business Owner

A new business just opened up in Toledo, Ohio a couple of weeks ago, and the business owner tried to show off his patriotism by hanging an American flag outside the establishment. Unfortunately, he hasn't had much luck with it.

One night, he found the flag and the pole mount ripped from the side of the building and tossed on the ground. After he re-attached it, he found someone stole his flag altogether. He has a message for the thief.

Police are looking for a thief in downtown Toledo that was caught stealing an American flag from Chevy's Place on the corner of Monroe and Erie. The person was caught on security cameras taking the flag and is believed to be the person who vandalized the same flag just one night earlier.

Owner Paul Swanson says that one night last week, he found his flag had been ripped off the pole and left on the ground. The mounting hardware was also pulled out of the wall. He did not get a picture of that vandal, but he re-attached the hardware and proudly flew Old Glory once again.

The next day, he came to work to find the flag was gone. Someone came by in the middle of the night and stole it. He believes it may be the same person.

Swanson can't imagine why anyone would take his flag, but he says he does have a message for the person who took it. "I hope you're getting a better use than I was. Take care of it. It means a lot to not only me to the citizens, to everyone,” Swanson said while being interviewed by 13 ABC News.

The Toledo Police are looking for the culprit and are asking people to phone in tips if they can identify the thief.

Stolen flags have been a mounting problem in recent years. There are some Americans who believe the country has failed to live up to the symbol's ideals, and they have taken out their anger and frustrations on the flag.

One Virginia man last year captured video on his security camera of a person trying to burn his flag, which was still attached to the porch at the time. Thankfully the flag wouldn't catch fire because it could have put everyone inside the home that night in danger.

Police caught that culprit and charged him with arson.

One Vermont man says he has had eight flags stolen off his front porch over the last three years. He's not sure if it is the same people or if there are just a lot of flag-haters in the bustling community.

There is a lot of foot traffic that goes by the man’s home. So far, none of the flags have been recovered and none of the thieves have been caught.

In Washington, a father of a fallen Marine was devastated when someone stole the flag from his home display. The flag was signed by his son and the young Marine's entire platoon.

Many of those young Marines were killed in action. The father says the flag has no monetary value, but it holds great sentimental value and he's still trying to locate it. He's even offering a reward for it.

Source: 13ABC
Photos: 13ABC, Chevy’s Place Downtown Toledo/Facebook,123RF Stock Photo

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