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4 American flags burned in Laguna Niguel

July 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Residents of a quiet Laguna Niguel neighborhood woke up to find that someone had burned four American flags. Investigators say they were torched overnight in the 28800 block of Placida Avenue.

Orange County deputies who were called to investigate the first flag burning soon learned of the others.

"As the deputy was taking the report, another resident from right next door, same thing." said Sgt. Sherrie Thompson of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. "Other deputies arrived, we patrolled the area and we found three more houses with flags burned."

Investigators say there's no sign an accelerant was used to burn the flags. They believe the suspect used a lighter, which could mean the flag burning was an act of vandalism and not a political protest.

"I was so scared," said 16-year-old McKenzie Kraut, a neighborhood resident. "It's so crazy. We've always lived in a safe neighborhood. And I don't even know, I can't think of someone who would do this."

The culprit could face arson charges because the burning flags could have caused a fire that destroyed homes.

"There's a flag attached to the house, another residence that had bushes 2-feet, right underneath the flag, it could have been devastating," Thompson said.

Neighbors say they suspect neighborhood kids were involved in the flag burning.

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