Police: Two recent American flags thefts in Johnson City could be connected

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Johnson City Police investigators revealed Friday they believe the theft of flags at the Johnson City/Washington County Veterans’ Memorial is connected to a different flag theft, Memorial officials are also adding additional security following those thefts.

We told you about a flag theft on Wednesday at the Woodstone community entrance in Johnson City. Police say a man cut a lanyard and drove off with an American flag inside. Police say he was driving what appears to be a yellow two-door Jeep.

That theft comes after someone stole flags from the Veterans’ Memorial in Johnson City. Police say someone stole the American flag and a “Prisoner of War Missing in Action” flag the weekend before Memorial Day.

Chair of the Veterans’ Memorial Foundation, Brenda Barnette says they’re taking action along with the City of Johnson City to add security.

“The Johnson City Parks and Rec. Department and the parks and rec. personnel will be installing another lock on the flagpole,” Barnette said.

The city owns the land and maintains the grounds.

With two locks on the flagpole, Barnette hopes it deters thieves.

“I can relax at night and not think that somebody is down there destroying our property,” Barnette said.

Barnette said city leaders plan to add that lock in the coming days.

Hal Turner lives right across the street from the memorial and he’s also a Vietnam War Veteran. He says he’s not sure why someone is stealing flags but he’s disgusted.

“I don’t know if it’s anybody trying to make a statement and it’s a sad statement if that’s all they can do,” Turner said.

Investigators are still looking for a yellow Jeep Wrangler seen in surveillance photos at Woodstone. If you have any information that can help police you’re asked to call CrimeStoppers 423-434-6158.

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