LOVETTSVILLE, Va. - The Loudoun County sheriff’s office is investigating several incidents in which LGBTQ flags have been stolen or destroyed in Lovettsville.
The mayor is calling the acts deplorable and devastating – but two of the victims have a different take.
Kris Consul and Sheryl Frye are among those whose flags were stolen.
Their home stands out. They’ve had a rainbow fence, and Pride or Trans flags hanging there for over a year.
"We just wanted folks to know that there was a safe place in town, that they could be seen," Consaul said.
They hadn’t been vandalized or targeted until Monday night.
"I think most people expected us to be angry and really we were just sad," Frye said.
Investigators say their home was one of three in Lovettsville that had Pride flags destroyed or stolen between Monday and Wednesday.
The town’s mayor calls the incidents hate crimes – and they’re amplified because they happened during Pride month.
"Lovettsville is a small community. We’re 2500 people. You know this is a lot like Mayberry. Everybody knows each other, we all go to the same schools, our kids all go to the same places, we all go to the same restaurants, there’s only so many here. Right? We’re the top of Loudoun County here. This is not what Lovettsville is," said Mayor Nate Fontaine.
A large portion of the Lovettsville community agrees.
"People around town are like, ‘well I’m gonna hang up a flag,’ and they may not have done it before," Frye said.
Frye and Consaul say people have brought them new flags. In many cases, they’ve also raised their own.
"We lost two flags for whatever reason, and I could tell you that at least a dozen have gone up community-wide, if not more," Consaul said.
Frye and Consaul say they may replace the stolen flags – but maybe in a more secure location.
According to the sheriff’s office, flags were stolen or destroyed from homes in the unit blocks of East Pennsylvania Avenue and South Loudoun Street, as well as in the 12700 block of Berlin Turnpike.
They’re asking residents in the area to check their home surveillance cameras for suspicious activity on Tuesday and Wednesday.
If you can help the sheriff’s office in their investigation, call (703) 777-1021.