HAMILTON COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Three flags fly high in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse. This was not the case on Monday after vandals struck the building.
Police are searching for those responsible for cutting down three flags that hang outside the Hamilton County Courthouse.
The American flag, POW flag, and county flag were all cut down between Sunday night and Monday morning.
Early Monday morning, officers conducted a regular perimeter search around the Hamilton County courthouse when they noticed the three flags missing from the flagpole.
"The cord was cut and the flags lying under that, just lying across the bushes," said Mike Robison with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.
Robison says they're treating this as vandalism because the cord was cut. Damage to the property was also reported.
"When you're cutting down flags and things of that nature, who has time to do that," said Curtis Johnson.
Robison says they see vandalism cases all the time. He says it's extremely upsetting when someone disrespects the country, the military, and the county to try and send a message or pull a prank.
"Vandalism is always disturbing but it's a little more egregious when you see our American flag, our POW flag, our county flag being treated this way. We're not too pleased about it," said Robison.
Local residents are surprised anyone would consider such an act and say it's not funny at all.
"I would think by now we'd be kind of passed that and dealing with other issues that are going on in the world," said Johnson.
Authorities are banking on an eyewitness account to see if someone got a look at who committed the crime, and they'll be talking with some of the homeless who often camp out by the courthouse.
"We will be following up with a couple of the regulars who frequent our courthouse late at night and see if they've seen anything," said Robison.
Police are currently in the process of reviewing the surveillance tapes to see if they can catch the vandals.
If caught, police say the suspect could be facing a fine or jail time.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.