Caught on video: two men climb pole, steal American flag from local business

Reporter: Annalise Iraola
Published: Updated:

Two men were caught on video climbing up a pole to steal an American flag from a local island business.

Amber Brady, co-owner of Micelli’s Restaurant in Matlacha, was upset by what she saw Saturday night.

“It was so disrespectful. I’m disgusted by anybody that would do something like that, and they just thought it was the funniest thing. It made my stomach sick watching it. It was awful,” Brady said.

Micelli’s has flags up all over, but these two chose to steal the stars and stripes.

Chip Ankrom, a Vietnam war veteran, is a regular at Miceli’s. He was, to say the least, disappointed by the theft.

“It’s the idea that people don’t appreciate anything anymore. They want everything for free, and that’s the wrong attitude to have,” Ankrom said.

Based on the video, the men went to the pole after a couple of drinks out back. One of the men boosts the other up. He unpins it and snatches out the flag, but he’s not strong enough to balance the weight and drops the American flag on the ground. Next, he dumps it in the back of a pickup truck. The two men hop in the back seat and drive away.

Brady said the theft is not about the money.

“The point is that disrespect for our American flag, and we are a business. We work really hard to keep this place up and do all these things to make it better for the community. And then just to see somebody come in and try to tear our spirits down or something like that. It just is very frustrating,” Brady said.

The owners haven’t filed a police report because they’re hoping someone in the community recognizes the men, or they do the right thing and return the flag themselves with a big apology to the business.

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