Twenty-six American flags to honor the victims of the Connecticut school shooting massacre have been stolen from outside a Coral Springs home.
Rick Riley and his wife, Cheryl, installed the flags in their front yard last week. Small flags were meant to represent the children who were killed. Slightly taller flags were placed in honor of the slain adults. And somebody stole all of the flags in what Rick Riley considers a personal attack.
“It is personal now because they have come on to my property,” Riley said.
The flag theft comes after a separate issue came up last week over whether the flags could be displayed.
The couple’s Turtle Run homeowner association had sent a letter saying no signs or banners were permitted on the property. But the management company later told NBC 6 the letter was issued by mistake and said that the flags could remain.
The flags did stay up until somebody stole them.
It brought Cheryl Riley to tears. Discussing the theft, she turned her attention to the mourning relatives of the Connecticut victims.
“Other people have lost loved ones,” she said. “They’re celebrating their first Christmas without their family members. So it’s not a joke.”
Rick Riley added: “This was our way of expressing our concern by having those 26 flags representing those individuals that were slaughtered.”
He said he was upset and disappointed.
“I don't have any idea who took them but I won't stand for that,” he said. “I won't stand for people coming on my property, removing things that have nothing to do with them.”