American Flag, Engraved Plaque Stolen from Florida Veterans Memorial Recovered by Police, Suspect Apprehended

by Matthew Memrick

Police recovered an American flag and plaque engraving from a Florida Veterans memorial and apprehended a suspect recently.

Boy Scout Troop 109 recently created the Jupiter, Fla. memorial at the Jupiter Elks Club, and recently, a vandal destroyed it. Fortunately, surveillance cameras caught the person, according to Fox 25. Also, police recovered a POW flag.

Thomas Brancazio’s father, Steve, said his son created the memorial as part of his Eagle Scout community project. Brancazio is also the Elks Club president. 

“He wanted to put an area under the flagpole for the veterans to sit and reflect,” Steve Brancazio said.

Veterans Project A Lot Of Work

The Elks support veterans, disadvantaged children, and even Troop 109. Steve Brancazio said his group is there for anyone in the community.

The club president said his son and other scouts put a lot of work in the heat to complete the memorial. The project involved digging up a tree, setting out a patio, and adding flowers for the site. The group also installed a plaque and a bench with money they raised on their own. 

Then, only after a week, the monument was vandalized.

Fortunately, the monument had surveillance cameras set up in case of theft or damage.

A shadowy figure approached the flagpole on a scooter and took the flags. The suspect also broke the plaque from its fixed position.

Steve Brancazio told Fox 25 that the American flag was extraordinary, having flown over the White House at one point. 

Flags Recovered

Palm Beach County deputies looked at the surveillance and soon located a suspect.

The Elks Club president learned from the police that the flags ended up in a canal. A deputy found them in a one-day search while the plaque ended up in a marshy place near the Elks Club on Indiantown Road. 

“Deputy Mark Smith, a big shoutout to him, he did a lot of walking today to get those flags back to us, we can’t thank him enough — and in this heat, too,” Steve Brancazio said.

Police have not revealed any details about the suspect’s motives or if charges are coming.

Steve Brancazio and the scouts are thankful the veteran’s memorial will be fixed. The Boys Scout troop will hold another public ceremony in the coming weeks.

Love For Veterans

The Florida city loves its veterans. A few years ago, the Palm Beach Post reported on a new veteran tribute.

LED lighting illuminates the veteran’s memorial with five monoliths at the city’s municipal complex. 

Each double-sided monolith uses special concrete and resembles a hand-carved rock. A logo from each armed force is on each stone with a stripe of glass containing a colored film to match the logo.

On the same road as the Elks Club, the US Department of Veterans Affairs had a veteran’s center.

According to, the city has 4,534 veterans, while Palm Beach County records 83,423 veterans.