BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — In a fit of vandalism caught on video, four young men can be seen destroying a holiday scene of wreaths, lights, and even the American flag.
The crime took place at about 1 a.m., when some local bars and restaurants closed for the night.
In the heart of Babylon Village, a well-known pet store on Main Street, Cozy Pet, has been filled with happy holiday dogs getting groomed for the season, and more.
But outside the shop animal lovers discovered broken lights, chipped paint, missing wreaths, and stolen flags.
Owner Mike Carmody went to the videotape.
“Small business owners, we work hard, try to dress up the outside a little bit, try to get festive for the holiday season,” Carmody said.
The surveillance captured four young men running up to the store — which is set back, down a private lighted alley.
One stole a wreath and used it as a necklace while the others appeared to urinate and vomit on the property, before breaking some Christmas lights.
What Carmody is most upset about is the treatment of the American flag.
“To see the desecration of the American flag is what pushed me over the edge,” he said.
One of the men turned his back to the camera and set two small American flags on fire. They had been planted in a holiday display going back to Veterans Day, Carmody told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.
“There’s no words. To me it is total disrespect,” he said, “Disrespect to the veterans who are out there during the holiday season, they are fighting, and losing their lives. I believe it is a treasonous act.”
Store patrons urged Carmody to report the vandalism.
“The county did contact me, the police department and asked if I wanted to press charges. I said absolutely,” he said.
Carmody has posted the footage on Cozy Pet’s Facebook page, and is asking his customers to help identify the vandals.
Police said the suspects appeared to be snapping photos and taking videos of them themselves as they vandalized the display.