SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Why do people steal flags? 

Better question: why do people steal flags in 2019, when so many homes in America have some form of video surveillance?

Police in San Antonio were tipped off about a man who strolled up onto the front porch of a suburban neighborhood home and broke off the American flag that was being displayed there.

And it was all caught on camera.

This still shot from the surveillance video shows the suspect breaking the flag off its bracket. (Provided to LET)

 

The footage shows the suspect approaching the home, looking around to ensure no one was watching him, then snapping the flag’s pole right off, breaking the fixture. He then proceeds to walk away, flag in tow.

The homeowner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Law Enforcement Today that he doesn’t know what the motive was behind the act, but he isn’t backing down from the situation. 

The man takes the flag and walks out of frame. (Provided to LET)

 

“This guy tore the flag down from my house,” he said. “He literally broke the bracket right off.”

The homeowner apparently noticed that his flag was missing when he returned home from a day of fishing on June 6. 

“I reviewed the camera footage and sure enough, he can be seen coming in from the left and taking the flag down,” he said on Wednesday.

The homeowner doesn’t know if the individual was protesting the flag itself, trying to send a message, or simply wanted the flag for his own, but he hasn’t responded to intimidation — if that was, in fact, the message behind the theft. 

A newer, larger flag is now being hung at the house. (Provided to LET)

Instead of admitting defeat, he proudly hung a newer, larger version of the stars and stripes instead. 

A police report has been filed after the theft, but the suspect has not yet been identified. The homeowner captured a photo of the suspect a few days after the incident. He called the police but there was no clear indication of what happened when they responded to the area.

The homeowner was able to capture this photo of the suspect a few days after the flag was stolen.

 

One thing is for sure, if the suspect remains hidden long enough to come back to the scene of the crime to take the new flag, he’ll have the camera waiting for him. 

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Sadly, this sort of trend seems to be on the rise.

Last month in Auburn, Washington, a man who proudly displayed an American flag in his truck in support of the military returned to find it burned and his truck partially torched.

Allen Tullar says that he’s not allowed to fly a flag from his apartment complex. So instead, he flies one in the back of his pickup truck.

At least he did, until a suspected vandal set that flag ablaze, burning part of his truck along with it.

Tullar says he suspects the flag was lit sometime between midnight and 6 a.m. The motive behind the crime is unknown. 

Lucky for Tullar, the damage to his pickup was just “cosmetic,” and only damaged the paint and a rear window. 

 

Tullar spoke about the event with KOMO News.

“The pole here was facing up,” Tullar said, showing off the damage the fire had left. “The flag was flying this way.”

According to the report, Tullar’s son was the first one to notice the damage.

“There was cake marks all over here,” Tullar said. “And up here where it actually melted onto the car.”

Tullar has friends, co-workers and family that have served in the United States military. His display of the American flag is a direct tribute to the men and women who serve, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedoms.

He just began flying the flag a few weeks earlier.

He said in a Facebook comment that this has nothing to do with politics, to his knowledge.

“I dont talk politics I beleive everone [sic] has there right to voice there opinions that is why I fly my flag for the fallen brothers and sisters that gave us the right,” the comment said.

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“To deface something that we all fought for, you know, it’s to me… it’s just… there’s other ways to voice your opinion. And by doing this it was wrong,” he said.

Police are investigating, but Tullar isn’t hopeful that they’ll catch the vandal as there don’t seem to be any surveillance cameras in the vicinity. 

 

Tullar said he has a great amount of pride and love for his country and that the crime was beyond disrespectful.

“Sickening that somebody would do that,” he said.

So how is he responding to the hateful act?

By flying a new flag.

Tullar says that a friend has provided him a new American flag, which he will be proudly flying from his truck for the foreseeable future.

Take that, anonymous vandal.