Thief steals American flag from building meant for veterans


Someone stole an American flag from a building dedicated to veterans. 

It happened early Thursday morning. A man is seen snatching it along with a POW flag right off the flag pole in front of the Visalia Veterans Memorial District.

“I love this country. I love our veterans,” Susan Sirkin the district manager said Friday. 

That’s why she could not believe her eyes as she started her day. “I always look at the flag. That’s just something I do. I looked up yesterday morning. Where’s the flag?,” she said. 

Surveillance cameras filled her in. A man in what looks like a hospital mask goes straight to the flag pole, unties the ropes and lowers them down, taking both flags and leaving.

“I don’t understand — and the disrespect when he drops the flag to the ground. It just shakes me up every time I see it,” Sirkin said. 

“We honor the flag and it’s our tradition to pay respect to the flag and always salute it and stand behind it. That’s what brings us together,” Leland Castro said. 

The Visalia Veterans Memorial District building is meant to be a gathering place for veterans. People are now left wondering if this thief understands the weight of his actions.

“It’s a stab in the heart. It’s a punch to the gut for those of us that have written that blank check, willing to be the person that doesn’t come back home,” Jeremy Hull said. 

Sirkin is not anticipating getting the flags back, instead she’s hoping to give something — perspective.

“There are men and women that died for that flag, and to see anybody disrespect it like that is just beyond reason. Beyond comprehension to me,” Sirkin said. 

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