Arvada Police investigating several stolen Pride flags

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Colorado Springs seen from inside Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church. Nov. 20, 2022.

Police are asking for the public’s help identifying a person suspected of stealing Pride flags from homes in Arvada. The department is investigating six similar incidents around the northwest part of the city. 

“A group of individuals, younger, have been stealing flags off of the front residences in the area,” said Chase Amos, a spokesman for the Arvada Police Department. “In some cases people have derogatory slurs made as the flag is being torn down.” 

Two properties have had flags taken twice, said Amos. 

The thefts are being investigated as potential bias-motivated crimes, meaning a crime against a protected class, based on the victim’s race/ethnicity or religion or sexual orientation. Amos could not recall similar incidents in past years in Arvada.

The thefts of Pride flags in Arvada started on June 6.

Colorado Springs Police said they had not heard of similar cases. Denver is investigating one case involving a Pride flag — the flag’s pole was removed and thrown on the ground. Aurora PD did not respond. 

In Lakewood, a homeowner reported the theft of a Pride flag from the front of his house on June 9.

The incidents come less than two weeks after the Colorado GOP said in a mass email on June 3 that it was Pride month, “and, once again, the godless groomers in our society want to attack what is decent, holy, and righteous so they can ultimately harm our children.” The email is signed by state GOP chairman Dave Williams.

In response to criticism of that message, the Colorado GOP posted on X: “Burn all the #pride flags this June.”

Even members of William’s own party expressed outrage over the post, with some calling for his resignation.

The Colorado Republican Party did not respond to a request for comment, but in an interview with KOAA in Colorado Springs, Williams said Pride was a danger to kids and the party needed to “stand up against the Pride movement in any way possible, that’s legal and peaceful.”

Williams is running for Congress in the 5th district to replace retiring congressman Doug Lamborn.

Amos, with the Arvada Police Department, said they don’t have any information yet linking the flag stealing to the GOP message.

“We want to make sure that everybody in our community feels safe to be who they are, and this is just not something that we as a department or a city tolerate.”