Sandy mayor, neighbors call for end to recent pattern of Pride flag thefts

Jun 7, 2023, 10:21 PM | Updated: 11:05 pm

SANDY, Utah — Sandy’s mayor and residents are calling for a recent pattern of Pride flag thefts to stop around the city and Salt Lake Valley.

On Wednesday, Mayor Monica Zoltanski said she wasn’t sure of the exact number of thefts but was concerned by several recent posts on apps like Nextdoor as well as experiences from numerous residents.

“I started to notice over the past few days a lot of reports of the theft of the rainbow flag,” Zoltanski told KSL TV. “It’s not a proud moment for us as a community, and it’s embarrassing, frankly, and I don’t want to see it in Sandy.”

Zoltanski said she installed a Pride flag in her yard in solidarity.

“I put this up today as one more flag, and I think many people are also adding their flags to their porches and front yards like I am as a means of support,” she said.

On Autumn Ridge Drive, Rebecca Christianson said putting up Pride flags has become something of a tradition in the neighborhood during Pride Month, which extends through the end of June.

“I super love the idea of showing up with love and just recognizing that we are all equal,” Christianson said.

Still, she said those who organized the display of flags on her street said nearly a third had already been stolen, including nine flags on the first night. Christianson said two flags were stolen from in front of her house Friday and captured by her surveillance cameras.

“A younger teenager kid jumps out of the back of the Jeep,” Christianson described as she reviewed the footage. “(The teenager) is kind of panicked and trying to get a flag stuffed in the back because another car is coming.”

‘We shouldn’t have to deal with this stuff’: Texts show House Republicans complained to UTA about Pride bus

Sandy wasn’t the only city to experience thefts of Pride flags. Unified police confirmed officers recovered 25 stolen Pride flags on June 2 during a traffic stop involving three teens in Holladay. A spokesperson said the matter was being referred to juvenile court.

“I think it’s kind of hitting the entire Wasatch Front all at once,” said Aaron Dekeyzer, a Sandy resident whose Pride flag was also recently stolen from his property.

“It does send a message of disrespect and disillusion that is not part of our community’s values,” Dekeyzer added.

Christianson agreed, saying the message was hurtful even if the thefts boiled down to teenage pranks.

“Stealing the flags—it’s not funny,” Christianson said. “It feels very confrontational and demeaning.”

Zoltanski urged those who experience thefts in her city to report them to police, noting that they can and will be prosecuted and could rise to the level of a hate crime depending on the circumstances. She also called for the thefts to simply stop.

“It really chills the community atmosphere we’re known for in Sandy,” Zoltanski expressed. “It’s a really welcoming atmosphere.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Equality & Diversity

The outside of the Black Cultural Center at Weber State University in Ogden on Tuesday. It and seve...

Tim Vandenack, KSL.com

Weber State to axe Black, Latino, other cultural centers to comply with new diversity law

Weber State University will eliminate cultural centers for Black, Latino and other students to comply with the new Utah law targeting diversity initiatives.

8 days ago

The two books made by authors who want to highlight the importance of family history. (KSL TV)...

Tamara Vaifanua

Two local authors highlight the importance of family history for AAPI month

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month is coming to a close, and two local authors are talking about their new books highlighting the importance of family history.

16 days ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Tamara Vaifanua

Woman creates custom designed signs, drawing inspiration from her heritage

A popular way some families honor their 2024 grad is displaying a huge banner with their photo and name on it. Vania Lautaha has perfected this art in a unique way – drawing inspiration from her Samoan heritage.

1 month ago

FILE - The Rev. Bill Farmer, center, speaks to members of the congregation during service at the Gr...

Peter Smith, Associated Press

United Methodists remove anti-gay language from their official teachings

The United Methodist Church overturned its 40-year ban on gay clergy Wednesday, marking a historic shift in the church’s stance on homosexuality.

2 months ago

Jani Iwamoto talks to KSL TV about the potential changes to Salt Lake City's Japantown. (Greg Ander...

Lindsay Aerts

Japantown advocates push for preservation of downtown street amid NHL stadium plans

A little-known but impactful section of Salt Lake City's downtown is soon to be at the center of a new vision for the city.

3 months ago

FILE - An attendee holds up flags during the New York City Pride Parade, June 24, 2018, in New York...

Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press

A Japanese court says denying same-sex marriage is unconstitutional

A Japanese high court has ruled that denying same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and called for urgent government action to address the lack of any law allowing for such unions.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Sandy mayor, neighbors call for end to recent pattern of Pride flag thefts