Hudson Police identify furry suspect responsible for stealing fl - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Hudson Police identify furry suspect responsible for stealing flags

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HUDSON, N.Y. - Hudson Police Chief Ellis Richardson says in his 27 years in law enforcement, he has never seen a case quite like the stolen flags at Cedar Park Cemetery.

Last week 35 American flags were stolen from the tombstones of Civil War veterans. Police had their suspicions.

"Typically the assumption is juveniles or kids might be responsible for this kind of incident," said Chief Richardson.

Local veterans worked hard to replace the flags, only to see 17 more stolen the following night. The police investigation escalated.

"We actually mounted cameras on trees and let them sit 24 hours and we went back and checked some of the video footage and found out it was apparently Mother Nature at her best," said Chief Richardson.

The suspect was caught red handed, or in this case, red pawed.

Surveillance photos depict a woodchuck standing next to one of the flags. Chief Richardson said it appears the animal is in the process of munching on the red, white and blue.

The evidence continued to mount once they investigated his home.

"We did deploy a pull camera going down into the hole and found remnants of the flags going down into the hole," said Richardson.

"They're very destructive creatures," said Sara Brennan.

Brennan has loved ones buried at the cemetery and is glad this case has been solved. "I'd rather have a pesky varmint than a bad minded person," she said.

The only thing left to determine is whether or not the woodchuck had any help.

"Right now it looks like just one, many may have benefited," said Richardson.

Police will not be pursuing any further action against the fury suspect.

"I'm not sure how you can go up against Mother Nature, I think you'll have to start plugging up all the holes," said Richardson.

Next year, the cemetery says they plan to raise the flags a little higher.

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