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Thief Caught On Camera: Stealing Flag From Local Business

Updated: Sunday, July 20 2014, 04:03 AM CDT


An unusual and upsetting theft took place at a local business. A crook steals its American and Illinois flags. It may sound like just another petty crime, but the details of the theft have some up in arms.

Surveillance video caught the entire crime on tape. Around 4:15 Tuesday morning a male is seen walking up to the flag poles at R.W. Troxell & Company and pulling off the flags. What has so many upset, is the way he handles them; allowing the flags to drop to the ground and wadding them into balls.

He made away with the flags, but the company's Director of Marketing, Alysse Hewell, says the joke is still on the thief in the video.

"Just the most embarrassing part is that his face is all over Springfield," Hewell said.

After seeing how the flags were handled, Hewell decided to post the surveillance video on the company's Facebook page. It has since been shared hundreds of time, collecting dozens of comments from people who were offended by the criminal's actions.

"I think it's disrespectful. The flag stands for our country and our freedoms and everything that everybody is oversees fighting for right now," Bryan Crawford said.

"I think it's awful, I mean it's the American flag," Chris Bubois said.

Tuesday afternoon Hewell turned the video over to Springfield police. She says police are spreading the man's picture as well.

Even though the suspect has yet to be caught, the flag poles weren't bare for long. R.W. Troxell & Company had plenty of extra flags in the office to replace the stolen ones, because they often give away flags completely free. It's something the company will keep doing, if nothing else, to deter more thefts.

"Hopefully that spreads the word more about that so people don't have to steal our flags and we can give them away in the future," Hewell said.

Hopefully those free flags go home with someone who handles them with respect, like 8 year-old Ginger Gould, who was outraged at the surveillance video.

"I think he should be punished for what his actions have done. It's disrespectful to people who appreciate the flag," Gould said.

Thief Caught On Camera: Stealing Flag From Local Business

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