Residents Disgusted, Police Concerned Stunts Could Harm Homes

ROSELLE PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Who is torching American flags?

It’s a disturbing and potentially dangerous trend in one New Jersey community, reports CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport.

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Someone is definitely up to something sinister in Roselle Park.‪

A day or two before the Fourth of July, two homes on West Colfax Avenue and another on East Lincoln Avenue all had their flags burned. The charred black remains of Robert Lingenfelter’s flag are still stuck to his pavement.

“It’s not the thing to do to burn something like that,” Lingenfelter said.

Over at Jill Stanton’s house, the situation was just as bad.

“It was just shocking to me,” she said. “Someone burned it. There was nothing left of the flag. It was burned down to the metal.”

Then just this past Tuesday a home on Chestnut Street had its flag torched.‪

Throughout the town many are asking themselves the same questions: who’s doing this and why?

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“To desecrate the flag like that, I just don’t understand it,” resident Clem Gibeault told CBS 2’s Rapoport.

“It’s very unpatriotic … and disgusting,” another resident added.

Roselle Park police officers are on the case and more than a little concerned. They said the flag burnings are more than just a disrespectful act; it’s an act of arson.

“The danger is the flag is attached to the residence. And if the residence were to catch fire you’re now endangering lives,” Roselle Police Chief Paul Morrison said.‪

Police said they are investigating, hoping to put the heat on the firebug who’s torching old glory.

Police speculate the flag burnings could be the work of some kids on a dare, or someone with a grudge against the military.

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