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Stolen American flag returned to Gainesville owner
Matthew Youngelman raises his American flag Thursday in Gainesville. His flag was stolen on Thanksgiving morning, and he received it back Thursday morning.

A week after his American flag was stolen, Matthew Youngelman was flying the red, white and blue again Thursday in Summer Creek Estates in Gainesville.

“It was a rejuvenated feeling,” he said.

Youngelman was one of several people in South Hall who had an American flag stolen. He discovered the flag was missing on Thanksgiving morning.

“An 18-year-old suspect in the theft of several flags in the South Hall area on (Nov. 24) has contacted investigators and returned the stolen flags,” Hall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Stephen Wilbanks wrote in an email.

Youngelman said he was able to claim his flag Thursday morning, identifying his property from a large bag with seven or eight others inside.

“When they opened up the bag, they were all folded, which was pretty nice,” he said.

Youngelman said he still does not know the motivation behind the act. When putting out the flag, he decided to put a padlock on the mount’s base.

“No charges have been filed as of yet, as the investigation is still ongoing,” Wilbanks wrote.

The suspect’s identity has not been released by authorities.

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