People in Cherokee County are outraged after criminals stole, of all things, American Flags and to make matters worse, the biggest impact could be on children.
The Towne Lake Optimist Club puts out more than 200 flags for holiday weekends like Labor Day, but this weekend they came back short. Nine flags had been stolen.
Law enforcement will tell you criminals these days will steal anything to make a quick buck, but deputies said this one is a first.
"I've worked here almost 20 years and I've never to my knowledge had a report of American Flag being stolen," said Lt. Jay Baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department.
Deputies don't have any suspects, clues, or answer to the big question of why.
"Not sure if they wanted American Flag. We really don't know what purpose was," Baker said.
Deputies wouldn't speculate, but the Optimist Club President Matt Halloran has a theory.
"Whoever would steal a flag has got to hate America and the children it supports," Halloran said.
But the patriotic side of things almost takes a back seat to the real problem with this crime. The flags are part of a fundraiser because residents and businesses pay the Optimist Club to put the flags out.
"Every penny we get from fundraiser goes to the children and supporting different children's funds," Halloran said.
They are funds that have just suffered a hit at the hands of some petty thieves.
"It's not just hurting us. It's really hurting children in the community."
Deputies said the public can be a huge help in this case by just keeping an eye out. The flags are very unique so they should stick out a bit. They're handmade, have a white pole, white cap and most importantly they sit 10 feet tall.
If you see any, or know anything about the thefts call the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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