Optimist Club says it is losing flags to theft

(WDTN Photo)

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – They are a symbol of patriotic spirit.

But in one Beavercreek neighborhood, flags are disappearing and the Greene Optimist Club says thieves are behind it.

Michael Bevis and the Greene Optimist Club are fairly new to the avenue of flags program.

Whether it’s homeowners reaching out to them or members going door to door, more than 100 flags have been placed this past year.

Bevis expects more community members to unite and show their American pride on flag-related holidays but can’t understand why his area is struggling with theft.

Michael Bevis of the Greene Optimist Club said, “We are questioning why someone would want to steal a flag. We had two or three stolen last year. For Memorial Day, we had another 8 and for Flag Day we have had 4 or 5.”

The flags, pole included, cost more than $50 with that money supporting local youth programs and scholarships.

Bevis said, “What are they doing with them? We want our flags back, without a doubt. We want the unnecessary theft to stop.”

Bevis says the missing flags concern the community and people often replace the flags quickly.

“The first time we hear about it is, a resident or someone with a home will call us and say my flag was stolen overnight. We need another one. Obviously, we were mad at the beginning.  I served three years in the Navy and of course, I respect the flag. Part of optimist is that we have respect for law and respect for our country,” said Bevis.

Bevis says the club filed a few police reports and so far no leads.

2 NEWS called the Beavercreek police Thursday and did not hear back.

“I think it is affecting the community. When we have more than a 100 out and people see them missing, they are of course disappointed,” Bevis said.

The flag poles are about 10 feet long and have the phone number for the Green Optimist Club on them.

Bevis says they’ll put out a lot of flags for the 4th of July. He hopes none of those are stolen.

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