Virginia police investigating thefts of lesbian couple’s Pride flags

Photo Credit: The Arlington County, Virginia, Police Department

PENROSE, Va. | Police in Arlington County are investigating the repeated theft of an LGBTQ Pride flag at the home of a lesbian couple that took place on at least four different days between Sept. 16, 2023, and Jan. 21, 2024, according to a police statement released to the Washington Blade.

The statement says the home where the thefts took place is located on the 200 block of South Courthouse Road, which is near the sprawling Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Police have listed the thefts as larcenies that remain under investigation.

“Within hours after it would come down, we would put it back up,” Michelle Logan, 30, told the Washington Post, which published a story on the thefts on Jan. 29. “It was just a constant wave of putting it back up and it being taken down,” Logan told the Post. 

Logan and her partner, Jenna Burnett, 27, also told the Post that their home security camera captured images of a man wearing a cowboy hat pulling down the flag on two of the four times the flag was removed.

The police statement obtained by the Blade says the reporting party told police a male suspect and two male witnesses approached the house on Sept. 16, with one of the suspects removing the Pride flag before fleeing the scene on foot. The statement says the person removing the flag is described as a white male.

The Blade couldn’t immediately reach the couple for comment.

The two women told the Post they believe the same male suspect wearing a cowboy hat removed the flag the second time on Sept. 30 based on images from their security camera. The police statement says police received reports that the flag was stolen at the same location again on Dec. 16 and at least one more time on Jan. 21, but no description of a suspect was given for those two instances.

The Post reports that the women said their video camera captured the image of a man without a cowboy hat removing the flag and the flagpole from their porch and walking away during the most recent incident.

The two women told the Post they began raising money from neighbors and friends on social media in response to the theft of their Pride flags and have been donating the money to the Trevor Project, a nonprofit group that provides support and a crisis hotline for LGBTQ youth. They said at least one neighbor sent them two Pride flags in case the thefts continue.  

“The investigation into these incidents is ongoing,” the police statement says. “Anyone with information or home surveillance that may assist the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington Police Department’s tip line at 703-228-4179 or ACPDTipline@arlingtonva.us,” the statement says. “Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477),” it says.

In a separate case, police in Montgomery County, Md., reported an unidentified suspect was captured on a video security camera on Nov. 7, 2023, tearing up and pulling down part of a two-story tall LGBTQ Pride banner from the outside wall of Bethesda United Methodist Church in Bethesda, Md. That case also remains under investigation according to police.

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