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LGBT Pride Flags Stolen, Burned In Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's happened once again - someone is stealing pride flags in the city of Hudson.

This time, however, the vandalism targeting the LGBTQ community is making a more hateful statement.

A fabric rainbow of colors flutters in the breeze off the front porch of Jon and Amy Hester's Hudson home.

But more than a symbol of support, it's to say all are welcome here.

"That was why we were hanging them in the first place, to really send that message loud and clear," Amy said. "So yes, it's upsetting for sure."

The Hesters are suddenly concerned after what happened in their neighborhood overnight.

Three of their neighbors awoke Thursday to find their pride flags missing. Two of the flags were stolen outright, while the third was burned, leaving behind the charred and melted remnants on the sidewalk.

"Initially, it was upsetting they were taking them and we were replacing them, but it definitely took it to another level," Amy said.

Hudson police say it's just the latest in a spate of pride flag thefts.

Chief Marty Jensen says that the nature of this latest attack is different, suggesting that it now has the markings of a possible hate crime.

"One family has been targeted twice, so that ramps it up for us a little bit," he said. "We're a very open community here, we enjoy everyone who comes and who lives here, and we want everybody to feel safe and secure."

Investigators hope clues and public tips will lead them to the culprit.

Meantime, the Hesters will continue showing their support, to say hate has no place in their peaceful hometown.

"Maybe if everybody knows what's happened, then everyone will be on the lookout to make sure it can't happen anymore," Jon said.

Hudson police are asking anyone with information on who might be responsible to contact investigators. Tips can be phoned in at 715-386-4771.

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