LONGSWAMP TWP., Pa. - A Berks County community has been ransacked by thieves and vandals who stole American flags just days before Independence Day.
The stars and stripes were stolen on a street in Longswamp Township that is beaming with military pride.
"It's sad that people stoop that low, especially today," said Jeff Kauffman, who has spent more than 30 years in the Air National Guard.
The American flag was ripped off his front porch just a few days before Independence Day.
"It's disturbing, very disturbing, and I don't condone that whatsoever," said Kauffman, who flies the colors outside his home on Wetzel Road to honor his two sons, who followed in his footsteps.
Kauffman and his wife said they feel violated, especially because his one son is currently serving a tour overseas.
"It's liberty. It's freedom. That's what it stands for, but obviously it stands for freedom that people can steal them, too," said Kauffman.
Just up the road, Jeff Scheetz said his wife takes pride in decorating for Independence Day, but they realized two American flags were stolen from their front yard.
"We put them out just for the holiday every year and no one ever touches anything, but this year, for some reason they wanted them," said Scheetz, who has been living on Wetzel Road for almost 20 years.
According to police, the thieves also made off with solar-powered walkway lights, a trash can and a bronze lamp light and threw signs in several yards. The thefts happened sometime this past weekend. Residents want to know a motive and want the culprits caught immediately.
"That's our country. I mean, it stands for what we stand for here in America," said Charlotte Thomas.
Both Kauffman and Scheetz said they will replace the flags in time for the holiday. Scheetz also said he is considering adding security cameras to prevent this from happening again.
If you have information about this case, you can call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913. A cash reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley 69 News