SAN DIEGO - Students and staff at Sandburg Elementary School in Mira Mesa are dealing with a flag foul play.
Sometime Sunday evening or Monday morning, thieves broke into the campus courtyard and took off with 20 international flags on the rooftop display.
"They're important to the states and the kids that live in different countries," said student Evan Wright. "I don't know why someone would do that."
In 2010, crooks broke into the school and stole more than 30 international flags, which cost $2,000 to replace. Since then, the flag poles had been bolted to the roof, but recently re-installed after the building got a paint job. School administrators believe they may not have been properly secured.
"We think that some of them were a little tighter, and so that if someone pulled on it and it was stuck, they moved on to the next flag," explained Principal Geoff Martin.
It will cost the school at least $1,000 to replace the stolen flags. The money will have to come from fundraisers and the PTA.
Martin tells 10News he is not sure when or if the flags will be replaced, and said he is even considering painting the flags on the walls.
"The school relied on it, had a lot of events around it supporting the different nations and it was a great kind of school spirit to get involved with, and it's just sad that this happened," said Daniel Jacobs, a school parent.
"Once we found out about it, we were all just pretty mad," added student Shane Wright. "Why would anyone do that?"
If you would like to help with flag funds, call the school at (858) 566-0510 or email Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.