RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A couple in Rio Rancho believes they are being targeted, as their home and pride flags have repeatedly been stolen and vandalized. It’s now the 10th pride flag Daniel Maynard and his partner of 22 years have hung up outside their Rio Rancho home. “July 22nd was the first time the flag was stolen. We’ve lived here for about 3 years,” said Maynard.
Maynard says every weekend since he’s had to put up a new flag. “It kinda went from just stealing a flag to knocking on our door with ski masks on,” said Maynard.
Over the weekend, his cameras caught three people walking up to his front door flipping off the ring camera, ringing the doorbell, and then taking off. “It’s turned from kids being jerks to what feels like a threat and a hate crime at this point,” said Maynard.
The trio didn’t stop there. “This has been intentionally three nights in a row Friday, Saturday, and then last night as well,” said Maynard.
In response to all of the issues, Maynard continued to replace the stolen flags and added more cameras. Catching this separate angle of someone running up to the garage tearing down their pride flag, leaving the flag pole bent. “This flag, they ripped it off, so we moved it up to the top of the house. Neighbors say they saw a kid hanging on it to get it loose,” said Maynard.
They returned the flag to its original spot here at the front of the house and slipped a geo-tag in the lining to track it. When it was ripped off yet again, they found the flag burnt to a crisp in the arroyo across the street. “It does feel like it’s escalating and getting to a point where people may be not safe,” said Maynard.
Despite the frustration Maynard is determined to not let them win. “What’s not an option for us is not putting up a flag. I mean, we don’t want to send the message that this isn’t important to us. This is how we represent ourselves and our community,” said Maynard.
Maynard said they’ve been working with the Rio Rancho Police Department but don’t have enough information to find the people responsible.