Police in New London are on the hunt for whoever took 24 American flags from Waterfront Park sometime over the past two weeks.
Officials said 144 flags were put on display along the waterfront in advance of the Connecticut Schooner Festival, which kicks off Wednesday in the shoreline community of Mystic before heading to New London on Friday.
"To me it doesn't make sense," said Mike Barton, New London. "I don't know why you steal American flags."
Officials for Connecticut Schooner Festival said the flags were put up to churn up some excitement for the event, but they started to notice some holes in the formation.
Police are now looking through days of surveillance footage to see if the thieves were captured on video.
"One of the best surveilled areas of our downtown is our waterplace park," said New London Mayor Daryl Finizo. "And whoever did it, they're going to be on candid camera."
A neighboring business, Cardinal Honda, is stepping up to help the Officials for Connecticut Schooner Festival.
"It's just something that we thought that we needed to do," Steve Luft with Cardinal Honda said.
After an employee noticed an article on WFSB.com, Luft said they decided the situation fit perfectly in their pay it forward program. They're offering to buy Opsail new flags and lend one of their big American flags for the event.
"Things like this make us feel good, makes the community feel good, makes the recipient feel good," Luft said. "And maybe, if we can touch a few lives, and they can do the same thing by paying it forward, that's what it's all about."
Opsail representatives told Eyewitness News they are so grateful to the dealership for helping them out with these flags, but they don't want to let this incident dampen the weekend as a whole.
The schooners are going to arrive in Mystic Wednesday and then come to New London's waterfront Friday, where they will spend the whole weekend for the festival.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at 860-447-5269.
For more information about the Connecticut Schooner Festival, click here.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
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