ALAMEDA (KRON) — Police in Alameda are looking for a woman who was caught on camera tearing down a “thin blue line” American flag back in March.
Surveillance video posted by the Alameda Police Department shows the woman and another person walking in the area of 2400 Santa Clara Avenue near Park Street on March 26.
You can see the suspect in the video ripping the flag down from the front of the store. Alameda police say the suspect later returned to further vandalize the property.
“I was angry really angry. I don’t even know what to say and how angry I was,” said real estate broker Joe Loparo. “It means a lot to me.”
Loparo is talking about the crime caught by the surveillance cameras outside his Santa Clara Avenue real estate office.
Two women are seen walking down the street at around 8:30 p.m. on the night of March 26, when the woman in yellow jumps up and rips down a thin blue line flag, honoring police officers killed in the line of duty.
Loparo says the woman is later seen in the video as taking something out of her purse and comes back
“They returned to do something to the flag, we don’t know what,” Loparo said. “The flag is never been recovered.”
Loparo, a marine corp. veteran, who is also the chair of the Alameda Veterans memorial ceremony, says he chose to fly that flag in part because of his many connections to law enforcement.
“Deceased veterans, law enforcement, firefighters — they all mean a lot,” he said. “They’ve given their lives to try to help others.”
He says the flag used to hang in his office. He started hanging it outside his brokerage in January, but this is the first time anything negative has happened because of it.
“You know people need to respect we all have different opinions, we all have different groups, everything,” he said. “We just need to respect others opinions. You don’t have to deface people’s property.”
Not long after word of the vandalism spread, the mother of an Alameda Police Officer gave him a replacement flag.
“I was touched, it brought tears to my eyes [and] meant a lot,” Loparo said. Loparo says he does plan to hang his new flag higher to help keep it out of harm’s way.
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