'It's Just So Disrespectful And Unnecessary'

GREENWICH, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Police in Greenwich are investigating a string of American flag thefts and vandalism over the past few months.

The flags lining the bridge over the Mianus River along Rt. 1 were put there and maintained by volunteer firefighters.

In the past few months, there have been several incidents of flags being stolen or ripped off the posts as people walk by.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reports

Local security business owner Dan Budinoff donated time, energy and a surveillance camera to help catch the vandals.

“I sure hope we’re going to get these guys because I’ll tell you something, that would be the best thing that could happen,” Budinoff told CBS 2’s Lou Young.

Selectman David Theis said the most recent theft happened a little more than a week ago.

“The surveillance cameras picked up two men walking by, just grabbing one of them and yanking it out of the holder and then taking it with him,” Theis told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

Theis said the thieves were two older men. But because the theft was at night, he said the pictures of the flag-snatchers are not clear.

Vandals sometimes rip down more than one at a time, Young reported. Some Cos Cob firefighters told Young they’ve bought flags with their own money to replace the stolen ones.

“Half a dozen here, two there. It starts to add up,” one local firefighter told Young.

One of the flags was ripped off its post on July 4th.

“Here are people defacing our apple pie and motherhood. How do you deface the flag on July 4th?” said Budinoff.

Greenwich police said they are taking the flag desecration seriously. There is an open investigation into the thefts.

“I can’t figure it out, it’s just so disrespectful and unnecessary,” Theis said.

Meantime, there are plans to place another surveillance camera at the scene.

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