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Petaluma Icon Besieged by Mysterious Thefts, Vandalism

The American flag flying over the Dairymen's Feed is an iconic image of Petaluma. But it's also been a target of thieves on numerous occasions who scale the 100-foot building to take the flag.

A large American flag was stolen from the Dairymen's Feed & Supply building Monday night, the latest in a series of thefts and vandalism that have occurred at the Petaluma’s iconic landmark.

The flag, valued at $500, had been suspended to a pole on the roof of the building at 323 E. Washington St. and is believed to have been taken between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Police believe teenagers who sometimes hang out in the area are behind the theft and say they likely used a stairwell to gain access to the 100-foot tall building.

“It’s extremely dangerous and sooner or later somebody is bound to get hurt,” said Lt. Dave Sears of the Petaluma Police Department.

Once on the roof, the suspect or suspects removed the flag by cutting it by the metal eyelets, which were attached to a rope. The incident is not the first time vandals have gained access to the building, with someone stealing the flag this spring and last year. Last July, thieves broke into an equipment shed and took several thousand dollars worth of items.

Arnie Riebli, the owner of the the grain storage facility, said he has tried everything to keep people out, including putting up security cameras and adding razor wiring to the fence. The thieves just responded by punching out the camera lenses and finding a way to scale the fence.

“What are we becoming as a society when this crap keeps happening?” Riebli said. “It’s frustrating and it’s disappointing that they would do this… They didn’t just take the flag, but they cut it. Maybe the way to deal with it is not put up the flag at all, but that would be a real shame.”

Anyone with information about the theft and vandalism is being asked to call the Petaluma Police Department at 707-778-4372.

Mitch September 06, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Very sad. A taller flag pole might keep kids away from vandalizing the flag.
The Happy Medium September 06, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Two Republican Presidents declare war on Iraq looking for WMD's in innocent homes don't find any but continue to force people out, "legitimate rape, murder as collateral damage", razing homes bombing museums and landmarks... asking soldiers to do things that have no more logic than hunting for Easter Eggs does with Jesus... Then same people say they are ProLife and pregnancy by rape is "legitimate" and you cannot figure out how this Trickle Down nonsense created youth when they act out? When will your cycle of ignorance cease? You want to turn things around? • President Bush said in April 2006, "Americans I am sorry to say we have a Petro-Chemical Addiction. We use more oil than any other nation. The way of the future is in sustainables. We'll build solar, wind-farms... a whole bunch of 'em!" ~ But where is the stock and capital gains boom in our manufacturing of renewable industries? We could have had huge stock booms as other nations who have determined "National Energy Policies" ~ I'm not saying this for bragging, I am just saying: In 1976 I wrote what I thought might be a Presidential Platform for someone out of my experience as an Army Reserve. I tried to get it to Jerry Brown. One of the sound bytes was "Use Military Technology for Ecology". It took until 1996 to have lunch with Jerry, Girabaldi's S.F. I said to him, "The US needs 12 Step Program!". We should do the 9th Step 1st! This is an idea whose time has come. So give youth hope + the flag will be saluted!
The Happy Medium September 06, 2012 at 05:26 PM
While I was in the Army at Hamilton AFB I started a recycling project. Captain Anderson collected enough cans to take his entire family of 4 to Disneyland. This was before Marin or Sonoma or S.F. Counties had any recycling programs in 1976. Then I was told as a Private I was not allowed to be telling anyone of higher rank even where to lift a finger or put a can! But I could get a special dispensation from the President to lead a "Task Force". I could get no audience with the President so people said I should approach then Gov Jerry Brown. It took 20 years to talk with him. I heard on NPR after our lunch that he was dropping the phrase "We need a 12 Step Program to get the U.S. off it's Oil Addictions" at cocktail parties in D.C. as he campaigned for Presidency. It took 10 more years in 2006 for a President (Bush) to make a National Speech in which this was in fact stated to the effect of "Americans I am sorry to say, we have a Petrochemical Addiction. The way of the future is in sustainables!" (Texan-talk ;-) Yet today, when President Obama tries to build wind-farms he is shot down. When he tries to do the 9th Step and show even a drop of remorse ~ whether the U.S. was RIGHT or not ~ just show some remorse, and is met with being called an anti-American! He is slandered for being a Muslim, when President Reagan held Muslim-led prayer meetings every Wednesday in WhiteHouse for years, and GOP didn't seem to mind when 70% of Muslim vote helped put Bush in office, and you wonder?
The Happy Medium September 06, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Muslims are not to be hated any more than all Christians are for the Inquisition. Pundits on Capital Hill write on brilliance of "Islamic Banking Bylaws" that don't make money off people by investing taxes in Hawk markets that profit a few + do not go back to people with sums that rival Congressional Budgets. When you deposit money in your bank does the manager call to ask who he can loan money to? No. This is how managers operate the bank of our taxes ~ a democratic loophole by "The Bylaws of our Central Bank". If you understood how much this trumps Congressional or Presidential powers you would see why it is wrong to blame any President for "Too much Federal Spending". Repubicans didn't mind it when they INSISTED getting $23 Billion in Federal Spending BONUSES on top of Estate Tax cuts at grave time of Deficit! * When you "Cut Infrastructure" it leaves more money in the Central Bank for those managers (FOMC with "Primary Dealers") to invest in what THEY want with budgets that rival Congress! I'm all for Capitalism but not when it erodes democracy. Muslims attempted to show how this creates Hawk economy sending world to early extinction by gluttonous outsourced oil dependent industry. Studying Islamic Banking was enlightening and some Petaluma High School students I ask know more about this than adults! * Instead of cut Infrastructure look for ways to cut waste like tankers come from thousands mi away to deliver food and things US could grow or make, and then return empty?
The Happy Medium September 06, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Oh god I am so sorry I made a gross typo! How embarrassing! ;-{ !!!!!

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