A suspected theft of American flags from a cemetery in western Massachusetts turned out to be the work of a four-legged vandal, according to officials.
Residents in Adams, Mass. initially believed a person was behind the vandalism at Bellevue Cemetery. However, investigators have discovered a hole near the origin of the flags, indicating woodchucks are involved.
“Of all the things that go on in today’s world, we have a woodchuck problem in our cemetery stealing flags,” Adams Police Chief Richard Tarsa told the Boston Globe. “There is an active woodchuck burrow up there, and if you look around in the dirt there are pieces of fabric and pieces of a wooden stake. Right now, there is every indication that it’s quite possible a woodchuck is using the flags in its burrow.”
A total of 12 to 18 flags have been vandalized at the cemetery, according to officials.
This is not the first time woodchucks have been caught taking American flags. In 2012, woodchucks were suspected of stealing up to 75 flags from Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson, New York.
Police have not ruled out the involvement of humans and are continuing to monitor Bellevue Cemetery.