Authorities are seeking the public’s help in identifying a young man suspected of removing an American flag from a Long Beach home and setting it on fire a few weeks ago.
Long Beach police were dispatched to the 6200 block of Pageantry Street on July 25 at about 8:25AM to a report of vandalism, officials said.
Police and fire investigators believe that between 12:25AM and 12:50AM, the man allegedly removed a 5 feet-by-9 feet nylon American flag from a flagpole and burned it on the street, according to a preliminary investigation.
At about 8:00AM, the victims noticed their metal flagpole leaning against the roof and realized their flag was missing. They then discovered the remnants of the burnt flag on the street in front of a neighbor’s home and called police, authorities said.
Arson investigators also responded to the scene due to the nature of the crime.
Home surveillance video shows the suspect walking up to the victim’s front porch area at around 12:27AM, and loitering around for a while.
At 12:47AM the suspect removes the flagpole from its base and lays it down, then removes the flag from the pole. He then moves around a vehicle to the street, ignites the flag with an open flame and walks away, officials said.
The video shows smoke and flames, until the flag burns itself out.
No other property damage was located, according to authorities.
Authorities are describing the suspect in the video as white or Hispanic, in his early 20s and with a stocky build. He also has a tattoo on the outside of his left calf and the inside of his right calf.
Officials said he was wearing a Monster baseball cap, a T-shirt with a logo on the front, and shorts.
Police said the crime is a felony and is punishable by up to three years in prison.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Long Beach Fire/Arson Investigator Dennis Zigrang at 562.570.2575. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call 1.800.222.TIPS (8477), or text TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or visit www.LACrimeStoppers.org.
Photos courtesy of the Long Beach Police Department.