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Multiple San Diego flag thefts caught on camera in one weekend

Posted at 5:58 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 20:58:13-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- In the span of one weekend, multiple flags were stolen from different homes around San Diego, and two of them were caught on camera.

Tony Cortese said he and his family of four moved into their North Park home less than a year ago. He and his wife are both veterans and come from military families, so they’ve always honored the flag in the name of those who serve.

“All our parents served in the military and several of our grandparents during World War II. It’s just the pride of our country. Flag means a lot to a lot of people if you never really looked into what the flag represents and who it represents,” said Cortese.

He said he’s always hung a flag outside his home, but noticed it was missing Friday morning. He checked his doorbell camera video and saw that the night before, two people walked up, cut the flag with a knife off the pole, then left with the flag.

Cortese said the theft is frustrating, but it’s the mistreatment of the flag that makes him upset.

“I don’t know what their motive was, what their reasoning was, but it’s pretty appalling if you ask me,” said Cortese.

He said he posted the video to a neighborhood website and was told another nearby neighbor also had their flag cut and stolen, and this wasn’t the only neighborhood to experience flag theft.

About 20 miles away in Sabre Springs, another doorbell camera caught a flag theft the same weekend. Susan Vaona had a similar experience Sunday morning. Her camera shows a person cut her flag off the pole and walk away with the flag.

Cortese said he knows the theft could have been worse, but wants to find out who stole the flag to make sure they are educated on what the flag means. He suggested that if the people are caught, he would want them to spend time with veterans or visit a National Cemetery as a way to understand his perspective.