Police: American flags stolen


BRATTLEBORO — Police are looking into the theft of American flags that had been placed downtown in celebration of July 4.

The Brattleboro Police Department responded Friday to a business on Main Street for a report of the stolen flags, which were about 10 inches by 15 inches. The flags had been placed in flower pots along both sides of Main Street and taken out sometime in the evening hours of Thursday and the early morning hours of Friday, according to a news release.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Brattleboro Police Department.

Kate O'Connor, executive director of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, reported the missing flags. She had been the one to put up the flags in keeping with a tradition her late father Tim O'Connor began seven years ago.

"To the people who enjoyed the flags, you didn't know it but you made my father's day," she wrote in a letter to the editor. "To the person or persons who stole the flags, it wasn't just flags you took. You've ended a tradition started by someone who just wanted to make his community a little brighter."

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O'Connor said her father had decided that Brattleboro "needed a little more red, white, and blue" during its Fourth of July festivities.

"So on his own, he bought 125 American flags and put them in the flower buckets throughout downtown, around the traffic island across from Brattleboro Savings & Loan and around Wells Fountain," she wrote. "He did it quietly, not wanting any credit for his efforts."

Tim O'Connor died in January 2018. The flags, Kate O'Connor wrote, "were a tradition we knew he'd like us to carry on. So I put the flags out. I don't have his artistic flair, but they looked great anyway!"

She said 20 flags were "broken, stolen, or worse yet, burned" last year.

"Knowing that wouldn't deter by father, I got new flags and put 66 out this year," she wrote. "When I went to pick them up the morning of July 5, all 66 were gone — stolen for a second year in a row. It appears that it's time to admit that the thieves have won."

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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