Construction equipment stolen at I-95 Confederate Flag site

Published: Nov. 5, 2013 at 5:06 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2013 at 5:06 AM EST
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Efforts to clear trees so you can actually see the Confederate Flag along I-95 have hit a snag. Someone stole the construction equipment for the project.

The group, Virginia Flaggers, says the excavator went missing some time between Thursday evening and Monday morning.

Crews are still clearing away debris on what is being called the I-95 Confederate Flag memorial site. Trees litter the area, but the pricey excavator used to clear the debris has been stolen.

"This is not going to stop," said Grayson Jennings with Virginia Flaggers. "We better not catch whoever is doing it. That is all I have to say."

Jennings admits he is upset after spending his own personal money to bring the project to fruition.

"Somebody stole something from me," said Jennings. "Sure I'm upset. If I was living right here, I would have protected it."

Evidence has been collected on the site, and the thieves apparently used a truck and trailer to steal the machinery.

"It is a bunch of BS," said Harry Rogers who notes the stolen machine can run between $20,000 and $100,000. "That's a big deal."

Jennings says the theft will not deter the groups mission.

"It's not going to hurt us," said Jennings. "It's just a little setback. We got our flag up. Everybody said we weren't going to get it up. We got it up."

In response, a large American flag swayed in the wind near city hall on Broad Street. The move came after nearly 24,000 people signed an online petition opposing flying the Confederate Flag along I-95 on private property.

"I wouldn't do this to anybody," said Jennings. "You wouldn't see any of us going down to downtown Richmond trying to knock the crane over with that American flag."

It is barely visible now, but Jennings says the clean-up will continue. He even plans to place a spotlight on the flag.

"I'm not the big racist flag hater that people think that we are," said Jennings. "We are just normal southern people that want to honor our ancestors. That's it."

Chesterfield Police confirm they are working this incident as a larceny case.

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