Couple suspects neighbor in political flag attack


A Concord couple remains scared after someone planted about 50 American flags — some with pro-Donald Trump political messages on them — in their front lawn and then tore the electric meter off their home early Saturday morning.

Late Friday night some neighbors of Montana Drive residents Jay and Denisen Hartlove were setting off fireworks as Denisen was monitoring the neighborhood chatter on Facebook.

She mentioned on Facebook that her neighbors were setting off fireworks again, which bothered the couple, and then around midnight Jay heard something like jingling at the front door, Denisen said.

He went outside and tucked in the screen door and in the handle of one of their car doors were American flags. Planted across their yard were roughly 50 more American flags.

Denisen said the couple figured it was a prank. Jay saw the shadow of person go down the driveway and he went after them until the person slipped into a nearby home, she said.

Denisen said the couple believes it was one of their neighbors.

Jay collected the flags. Seven of them had slogans on them such as “Build the Wall,” Denisen said.

She identified the couple as Democrats and said they voted for Hillary Clinton for president.

Denisen said she sent the neighbor suspected of having planted the flags a Facebook message:

“He didn’t respond. … I was being funny.”

About a half hour later the couple heard a big bang coming from the street. They thought a transformer had exploded.

Denisen said:

“The house shook.”

Jay went outside and the air smelled like a big firecracker.

What the couple realized then was that someone tore the electric meter off their home, which cut the electricity off at about 1 a.m.

Denisen said of the meter:

“It was gone. … We were really afraid.”

The couple has at least two children.

Sunday the couple spent $3,000 on a security system because they don’t know what’s next, if anything.

Other residents of the neighborhood have been supportive of the couple’s plight, posting messages on Facebook and saying that what happened is not okay.

Police are investigating, Cpl. Christopher Blakely said. Officers took a report and are investigating the case as vandalism. Blakely said the case will be assigned to a detective today. Officers are looking for any video surveillance footage that might be used as evidence.

Officers interviewed the person the couple suspects did the vandalism and he denied doing anything, Blakely said.

No one picked up at the phone number of the person the couple suspects tore the meter from their home.

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