Teen hands out American flags as punishment for stealing Old Glory from Missouri business

A business owner from Pacific, MO taught a teen who stole an American flag from him a lesson – what could have ended in an arrest instead turned to be a valuable learning opportunity.

Teenager Keaton Chandler was caught on surveillance video early Thursday morning, stealing an American flag from Beacon Car & Pet Wash. Upon discovery, the owner of the business posted the surveillance footage on Facebook which led to people identifying the teen. Chandler subsequently called the business and asked to return the flag.

Owner Bill Hoaglin invited the teen to come back to the store and return the flag, offering Chandler a chance to redeem himself by spending the day at the business while handing out miniature American flags to customers; the teen agreed.

“The middle flag, I stole it, I made a mistake,” Chandler said. “Don’t steal flags, kids.”

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Hoaglin, who is a veteran, said he wanted the teen to learn a life lesson instead of getting arrested.

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“I just feel this is a better learning experience for the young man and potentially for other people who know he is here doing it,” he said.

Fox News' Morgan Cheung contributed to this report.