A family in Aurora has contacted police after surveillance video captured a man ripping their American flag from its pole two days before September 11th. Brandon Do, a longtime Aurora resident, fears he and his family are being targeted.
Do is less concerned about vandalism and more worried about the message he thinks the man in the video is trying to send.
An American flag was stolen twice before from the front yard, according to Do. While police have not made any conclusions, the Do family worries their ethnicity may have had something to do with it.
The video shows a man wearing a hat, shorts and t-shirt walking up to the home before tugging at the flag several times. He is seen running away from the home with the flag in his hand.
"You see the guy running down from the end of the street," Do said, "I mean, this is the stuff you only see on TV."
The most concerning aspect of the vandalism is how the thief went through so much effort to steal his family's American flag, he explains.
"What made me upset was seeing him take the flag with so much force. It seemed pretty malicious in how he ripped the flag down."
The same thing has happened twice before to the Do family, each time near an American holiday or anniversary.
Memorial Day of 2015 was the first time the family's flag was stolen, according to Do.
"My parents thought maybe it's just some lunatic or someone who really wanted a flag and decided to steal ours," he said.
The family replaced the flag. About one year later, that flag was stolen just a few days before September 11, 2016.
"My dad actually used wires to secure the flag," Do explained. "The vandal brought bolt cutters or clippers to cut the flag down, throw the bar over and steal the flag."
Their suspicion prompted them to put up surveillance cameras. This time, they bolted and zip tied the flag pole to the fence. On September 9, 2017, cameras captured what Brandon had suspected all along.
"At this point, considering it's the third time, I don't think it's a coincidence," Do said.
Plenty of neighbors on his street have flags up, too. His family's flags appear to be the only ones that were stolen.
"I hope that it's not because we're Vietnamese American but no one else has had issues besides us in this neighborhood," he explained.
Regardless of the motive, Brandon says the vandalisms worry him.
"My concern is, if we do put up another flag, what this person is going to do again," he said, "We love this country. It's afforded us the opportunity to pursue our dreams."
It won't stop his family from putting up another flag for a 4th time.
If you have any information that may help, please contact Aurora Police: 303.739.6000