NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are looking for a very unpatriotic thief in Brooklyn after a number of flags were stolen from homes ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported, there were a lot of flags on display along 10th Avenue in Windsor Terrace, but not as many as before. It seems someone tore almost a dozen off of their poles and stole them Thursday night.

“Our flag was gone and the pole that was attached was smashed in half,” Karen Burke Abrussese told CBS 2’s Sonia Rincon.

Jim Shashaty thought the rainstorm was to blame.

“I saw the pole bent over and the flag gone, and I didn’t think much of it until I looked at my neighbor and saw her flag was gone too,” he said.

“I just thought it was somebody who was ripping down these American Flags in a hate crime, I guess. That’s what I thought. I didn’t know; I was very upset,” said Abrussese.

She was even more upset when she saw her neighbor’s surveillance video that shows a man on a bike stuffing flags into a backpack at 6 a.m.

“Our flag was actually given to us by a man that was in the service over in Iraq, and it’s an honorary flag,” Abrussese said.

Neighbors said they think the same thief stole at least three more along another street and even some small flags in the flowers, Rincon reported. Another two disappeared around the corner on Sherman Avenue.

“On any day, but especially today. It’s a very, very special day for all of us and we’re very hurt by this action,” said one neighbor.

“I have a son who’s in the Navy. He’s a commander in the Air Force and with the Navy, and I respect that very much. I believe in flying the flag all the time,” another said.

“Especially y’know, Fourth of July, World Cup — everything about the United States. I feel our sense of nationalism is very high right now. I just don’t know why anyone would want to do that. It’s just disgusting,” said Colin Walsh.

Police now have the surveillance video and Abrussese said she hopes they find whoever was out stealing flags ahead of the Fourth of July soon.

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