Thief returns Hinkle Family Fun Center flag with apology note


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A thief has given back a massive American flag about a day after it was taken from an Albuquerque business. The thief was also caught on camera returning the flag overnight. Now the business has their 38-foot flag back along with an apology note.

This all stems from surveillance video from the Hinkle Family Fun Center on Friday night that caught the thief using a ladder to reach the chain, bringing the flag down the pole, crumpling it into a ball, and running to a getaway car.

Then on Saturday night around 11:30, KRQE News 13 surveillance footage caught someone throwing a bag with the flag in it, over the gate into the KRQE parking lot, and then running away. On Sunday afternoon, KRQE was able to reunite the stolen flag with staff from the Hinkle Family Fun Center.

“The flag is very significant to us. like we said we take great pride in displaying the flag and being a business in the United States of America and we are just tickled that we actually have it back,” said Colleen Wyatt with the Hinkle Family Fun Center. 

The bag with the flag in it had a note attached, which the person who threw it over the KRQE gate admitted to the crime and even called themselves disrespectful and selfish. The alleged thief also said he or she was a “drunk stupid bored teen.”

Hinkle Family Fun Center said the New Mexico Veterans Memorial will properly retire the stolen flag because it was on the ground and crumpled up during the theft. Staff said it already bought a new flag, which cost at least $1,200.

The business had filed a police report on Saturday. The Albuquerque Police Department said it will have to meet with the Hinkle staff to determine if they want to move forward with the case.

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