Caught on camera: Man tries to steal rainbow flag from Phoenix home

Man caught on cam ripping rainbow flag down.

PHOENIX - A Phoenix couple is hoping someone recognizes a man caught on camera trying to rip a rainbow flag off the front of their house. 

The flag is displayed as a symbol of gay pride. Police are calling the act a hate crime.

12 News spoke with the couple, who now has their home surrounded with cameras.

This isn’t the first time someone tried to steal the Gibbs’ rainbow flag. It happened once before last month. Two nights ago, the criminal struck again. 

"The alarm went off because somebody was tampering," said John Gibbs. "You know, we put the alarm on the flagpole in case anybody tampered with it again.”

A man was trying to pull it down from John and his husband Blair's home at about 10 p.m. Wednesday night. 

"I called out to Blair, my husband. We both came out," he said. "He took off running and he ran down toward Central. If I would’ve caught him, I probably would’ve tackled him to the ground.”

They couldn’t find him, so they called police.

“This time he wasn’t able to steal it because we screwed it in," he said. 

In the surveillance video, you can clearly see what he was trying to do from four feet away. 

“He’s trying to rip the flag off of the clips," said John's husband Blair. 

"He’s got an issue with gay people, which is sad," John said. "The next time, it could be something different.”

They posted about what happened on the ‘Next Door’ website, hoping someone will recognize the man in the video.

"You feel violated. It’s like ‘how dare them,’" John said. "This is a symbol of diversity.”        

In the meantime, when people drive by and see their rainbow flag hanging from their home, they want everyone to remember something.

“Just to accept everybody," John said. "You know it’s a different world. We all should respect one another."

“For his sake, I hope he doesn’t come around because I have a baseball bat," he said. 

"We originally put it up when Orlando had the horrible incident,” Blair said. “It needs to stay up.”

The Gibbs are hoping someone turns him in and that he ends up serving jail time.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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