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Sheriff’s Office Investigating Thefts of Pride Month, Hawaii Flags in Los Olivos

The thefts of flags, including at least two installed for Pride Month, in Los Olivos has prompted an investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and a request for surveillance video. 

On Friday, the Sheriff’s Office put out a plea for the public’s assistance with suspect information or video footage. 

At 10:30 a.m. Thursday, deputies responded to the 2800 block of Grand Avenue for a report of a stolen flag that was taken in the previous 18 hours, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Raquel Zick said.

“Deputies learned that a pride flag had been stolen from a pole in front of the business after closing time the prior day,” Zick said. “In the commission of the theft, the pole was also damaged.”

While deputies investigated the theft, a neighboring business also reported having a Pride Month flag stolen, and a third business, around the corner on the 2400 block of Alamo Pintado, had a state of Hawaii flag stolen. 

The thefts all seemed to occur after business hours Wednesday and before opening Thursday.

“After taking the initial reports, deputies attempted to collect physical evidence from the scenes and canvassed the area for additional victims as well as potential cameras that would have captured surveillance of the crimes to no avail,” she said. 

Deputies have asked for the public’s assistance in identifying any suspects or involved parties, she added. 

The incident came 11 months after two local men stole and burned Pride flags in the Santa Ynez Valley and now face misdemeanor criminal charges in Santa Maria Superior Court.

Avi Stone Williams and Joshua Jerome Eligino have been charged with two misdemeanor counts of petty theft and one misdemeanor violation of civil rights. 

In April, not-guilty pleas were entered on behalf of the pair. Their criminal case is scheduled to return to court July 10.

“It is the policy of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office to safeguard the rights of all people, irrespective of their disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics,” Zick said. “Any acts or threats of violence, property damage, harassment, intimidation or other crimes motivated by hate or bias are viewed very seriously and given high priority.”

Anyone with information about the latest thefts is encouraged to contact the Solvang Sheriff’s Substation at 805.686.5000. 

To remain anonymous, information can be submitted by calling the tip line at 805.681,4171 or online at SBSheriff.org.

Source : NoozHawk