COLUMBUS, Ohio — People in west Columbus are raising concerns after multiple pride flags were stolen from different homes in their neighborhood.
Brian Horrocks and his wife raised a pride flag outside of their garage as a nod to the LGBTQ+ community.
"You know, we have a lot of pride knowing that our neighbors have a lot of different viewpoints, and we can always share and you don't have to worry about people getting upset just because your viewpoint is different, right? We want everyone to be welcoming," he said. "We want people to be friendly, and that's why we live here. That's why we live in Columbus, and that's why we love living here in Hilliard."
In a Facebook group called Cross Creek Village, several people complained about someone ripping pride flags from their posts.
Horrocks said he loves his neighborhood, but he's thinking twice about where he hangs his flags.
"We've been talking about whether we need to take our flags down at night and put them in because we don't want to have them stolen. We like to make sure they're up and out so that people know we want to have a friendly neighborhood that is welcoming to all," he said.
While some suspect LGBTQ+ hate is behind the thefts, others said it could just be another "playful" trend.
"I would like to believe that it was just done out of silliness and not with malicious intent," said Angelia Craddolph, who had flags stolen last year.
She said this year she decided to show her pride in a different way.
"This year, for pride, we decided to go ahead and attach our celebration flags to the property," she said.
Craddolph, Horrocks, and others in their community said the thefts wouldn't stop their pride.
"We, as a family, believe in love for all. Love wins and you shouldn't be going into other people's lives, other people's business defining what love means to individuals, so, it's just a celebration of everybody having the right and the freedom to define what love is as individuals."
The Columbus Division of Police told 10TV they have no recent reports, but if a report was made by telephone or online, it can take several days for it to be processed. They said potential charges for anyone caught stealing a flag could include misdemeanor theft.