It was the case of Stolen Flag II. But not for long.
The huge flag, bought with funds donated by a patriotic public to replace another stolen last month from Ninth East on the Van Winkle Expressway, was stolen Saturday but soon recovered, officials said.The 30-by-60-foot flag was taken during an apparent "graduation prank" some time after 12 a.m. Saturday morning, said Richard Beckstrand, president of Spring Run executive offices.
Salt Lake County deputy sheriffs later recovered the flag after spotting the less-than-unobtrusive banner stuffed in the back seat of a car driven by a juvenile, he said.
Last month, another giant flag was stolen from the 100-foot pole. The flag was hung as a joint venture with nearby Gull Laboratories and Salt Lake County.
Deputy Sheriffs later found the flag, damaged beyond repair and the victim of another teenage prank. But residents responded by raising nearly $2,000 to replace the flag, rehung during a ceremony May 14.
Saturday morning, hours after hundreds of area teenagers graduated from high school, some apparently decided to cut the locks that secured the flag and steal it.
But another group of students who heard about the prank stole the flag from the original thieves before being spotted by authorities.
The flag, perhaps the largest in Utah, was not damaged and will be cleaned and rehung Monday.