Alameda, CA – Police are searching for a woman who tore down a Thin Blue Line flag hanging outside a real estate brokerage (video below).
The incident occurred at approximately 2:45 a.m. on March 26, Alameda Police Lieutenant Wayland Gee told the East Bay Times.
Surveillance footage showed two women as they walked down the sidewalk in the 2400-block of Santa Clara Avenue.
As they approached the storefront where the Thin Blue Line Flag was displayed, a woman wearing a yellow jacket paused beneath it, then leapt into the air and grabbed the edge of the fabric, yanking the flag down onto her head.
She dragged the flag along the pavement for several steps, then tossed it in front of a building before she and her accomplice continued walking down the sidewalk, the video showed.
The suspect “later returned to further vandalize the victim’s property,” police said in the video release.
Details of the subsequent vandalism were not provided, and the Thin Blue Line flag has not been recovered, Lt. Gee told the East Bay Times.
Real estate broker Joe Loparo, a Marine Corps veteran, said that he chose to fly the flag outside his storefront in honor of those who serve, KRON reported.
"Deceased veterans, law enforcement, firefighters - they all mean a lot,” Loparo said. “They've given their lives to try to help others.”
He said that the Thin Blue Line flag had been on display outside his business since January, and that no one had bothered it until now.
"I was angry really angry. I don't even know what to say and how angry I was,” he said. “It means a lot to me.”
Shortly after his flag was stolen, the mother of an Alameda police officer gifted him with a replacement.
“I was touched, it brought tears to my eyes [and] meant a lot,” Loparo said.
He said he still plans to fly the new flag outside his business, but that he will make sure it is out of reach of anyone passing by.
Joseph Murphy, the president of patriotic apparel company Warrior 12, said that thefts of Thin Blue Line flags have increased so much that his company started offering free replacements to customers for theft.
"Unfortunately, many people feel entitled to steal other people's property because they have different politics," Murphy said.
(Disclaimer: Warrior 12 helps fund Blue Lives Matter through the sale of Blue Lives Matter gear.)
The “Thin Blue Line” flag, which is a sign of support for active-duty police officers and a symbol of honor for fallen officers, has been frequently mislabeled by Black Lives Matter activists.
They claim that the flag is a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The “Thin Blue Line” flag was created long before Black Lives Matter ever existed.
In fact, the term “thin blue line” has been popular with law enforcement officers since the 1950s.
Alameda police urged anyone with information about the suspect or the vandalism to contact them immediately.
Police described the suspect as a blonde, white female in her teens or early 20s. She was last seen wearing black leggings under a flower-print skirt, a green Oakland A’s t-shirt, and a yellow jacket. She was also carrying a small black backpack.
Her accomplice was described as a white female last seen wearing a dark-colored shirt with patterned sleeves, blue jeans, white shoes, and a black cap. She was carrying a light-colored purse.
Feel free to spread the word on social media to help identify these criminals.
You can watch security footage of the incident in the video below: