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Increase In Patriotism Boosts Flag Thefts

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Residents all over the Triangle are showing their patriotism by flying the American flag. However, that increase in national pride has an unfortunate byproduct -- an increase in flag thefts.

Harriet Janes noticed something was missing when she came home from running errands -- the American flag in front of her home.

"It made me so angry and I thought, 'Well, I'm going to call the police anyway just for the principle of things, just to make myself feel better,'" she said.

A number of Triangle residents have reported thefts of their American flags.

The demand is certainly unfurling at Capitol Flag and Flagpole. The owner said he cannot even get to his phone messages. If you are lucky enough to get a flag, the store does not have any poles or brackets.

Back at Janes' house, she has a bit of a red glare for whoever took her stars and stripes.

"I hope they fly it, I mean that's the only thing. You hope they didn't just trash it somewhere," she said. "I just couldn't believe what kind of person would steal a flag, I mean, that doesn't seem to fit together -- patriotic and being a thief at the same time."

Most of the thefts have happened at night, so follow the rules of proper flag handling and bring them inside after dark. Police say someone caught stealing a flag can be charged with larceny.


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