Navy Veteran’s 50-Foot American Flag Stolen from Thrift Store

by Megan Molseed

A Navy Veteran and the owner of a Tennessee thrift shop faced some heartbreaking news when someone stole the 50-foot American flag displayed outside of the Murfreesboro, Tennessee store. The flag disappeared early in the week when a thief removed the 50-foot flag from the flagpole which sits in front of the establishment.

What We Know

  • The owner of a Tennessee thrift shop noticed the flag was missing from in front of the store earlier in the week.
  • A look at the security cameras show that the flag went missing early Monday.
  • The theif apparently moved the security camera before taking the flag.
  • Despite the shocking act, the business remains dedicated to their mission to help others.

Footage Shows That the Flag Was Taken Early Monday Morning

When one of the managers of Murfreesboro’s Steered Straight Thrift Store arrived at their shop Monday morning they noticed that the store’s 50-foot American flag had been removed from its flagpole. After investigating possible situations that may have led to the flag’s removal, the thrift store owners determined the item had been stolen.

It was at this point that Darla DeLeon and her husband, Navy Veteran Michael DeLeon decided to check the security footage that had been recorded over the weekend. Upon viewing the video, the DeLeon’s learned that the camera had been moved before the moment the flag disappeared. And, the thrift-shop owners note, it was likely the thief who adjusted the cameras before taking the flag.

“We figured OK. I see it Friday. Yup, I see it Saturday.OK, I see it Sunday,” says Steered Straight Thrift Store manager Jennifer Sanchez.

“Then Monday, we looked at Monday’s camera, and our camera was actually turned,” Sanchez continues. “It was moved, and so I’m like OK something happened there.”

The Navy Veteran Business Owner Is Disheartened By Theft Of American Flag

Upon the review of the surveillance footage, the thrift store owners believe they have the culprit on tape, moving the camera before the theft. The footage shows a man appearing within the video’s frame at about 3:30 a.m. Monday morning. He then looks around and covers his head. It was just moments after this that the camera is moved.

“It’s disheartening, to say the least,” said Darla DeLeon of the theft. Darla adds that the flag means a lot to her husband, Michael who is a Navy veteran.

“He said my flag is gone,” Darla remembers. “My flag is flying up on the flagpole.” This, Darla adds, upset her husband who wonders why someone would do such a thing.

“I said yes, it’s gone,” says Darla. “He just started crying and said why, why would someone do that.”

The incident feels even more disheartening when looking at the Steered Straight Thrift Store’s mission, which is to help others. However, the DeLeon’s note, this person’s actions won’t sway them from this mission. The thrift store’s doors will always remain open. Even to the person who stole the honored item.

“Even if he doesn’t get caught, and he comes back in again and goes shopping with us… he can still come shopping with us,” Sanchez says.