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Two young adult suspects identified in relation to theft, burning of Pride flags in Los Olivos

St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church

LOS OLIVOS, Calif. – Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies have identifieded two young adult suspects in relation to the theft and burning of Pride flags that has taken place in the Santa Ynez Valley over the past several days.

Deputies responded to the 2900 block of Nojoqui Avenue in Los Olivos to investigate a report of a stolen Pride flag on Thursday, July 28, said sheriff's spokeswoman Raquel Zick.

A Pride flag was cut down from the flag pole in front of St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church on Thursday night. News Channel 3-12 reported on the initial theft, along with the disheartened reaction of local residents.

Deputies spent several days gathering physical evidence, interviewing victims and witnesses, and tracking down a video of people burning a Pride flag, Zick said.

Two young suspects admitted to stealing the original flag, as well as an additional flag in the Ballard area, and also admitted to burning the flag in the videos they shared on social media.

"Sheriff’s deputies have been in consistent communication with the parties involved in this case as well as community leaders who have voiced concern about these incidents," Zick said. "The Sheriff’s Office takes these offenses seriously."

The case has been submitted to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office and the Sheriff's Office requested charges for petty theft and hate crime, Zick said.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here

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