Is thieving groundhog a vandal or just a flag lover? (Getty images)
Is thieving groundhog a vandal or just a flag lover?
Lexile

A sheriff's deputy investigating reports of vandalized flags at an upstate New York cemetery has caught the culprit in the act.

It was a groundhog.

Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour says he sent a deputy to the veterans' section of Cold Springs Cemetery in Lockport. Parents of an Army specialist buried there called reporters earlier this week to complain about the damaged flags.

Groundskeeper Rodney Burdick says about 31 flags were missing from veterans' graves.

Voutour says he wouldn't have believed the groundhog was responsible. But then his deputy watched the animal take the flags, break them with its front paws and take them into its den.

Critical thinking challenge: Why was it necessary to see the groundhog in action?

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COMMENTS (13)
  • AvalonR-4
    5/30/2014 - 01:16 p.m.

    This article is about a groundhog who was stealing flags. At the beginning the police thought it was an actual person who was the culprit, but it was actually just an animal. The groundhog was stealing flags from the Cold Springs Cemetery in Lockport in the veterans section. The groundhog stole in total 31 flags! At first, the officers didn't believe that a groundhog could steal flags, but then he watched the groundhog take the flags into its den. I think that its crazy that a small animal like a groundhog could steal a flag! I think groundhogs are super cute. I would want to see it steal the flags with my own eyes to believe it!

  • KalynSi
    5/30/2014 - 01:37 p.m.

    It's a good thing that they actually did something about it. Most cemeteries won't look for who did it or wouldn't even have flags up to be taken. This cemetery needs to try and find a way to keep animals like groundhogs out so this doesn't happen again.

  • Sarah H
    5/30/2014 - 01:37 p.m.

    The flag is a symbol of our country, no doubt about it. But, you can't necessarily blame the groundhog, because it is an animal and doesn't know any better of what it means or why it is there. He also was probably trying to make a warm bed, because maybe it had babies in its den. I hope they replaced all the flags and are trying to find a way to prevent the groundhog from getting at them, without actually putting harm on the groundhog.

  • brynnd
    5/30/2014 - 01:53 p.m.

    This is really funny and cute. I don't think that the groundhog should be punished for something little like this though. It is just an animal, it doesn't know what it was doing. Hopefully they do something about it.

  • JolieH-5
    5/30/2014 - 07:55 p.m.

    A groundhog is the found culprit of the investigation researching damaged flags at a New York cemetery. Niagra County Sheriff James Voutour sent a deputy to the veterans' section of Cold Springs Cemetery in Lockport, who saw the groundhog break the flags with its paws and take them back in its den. I think that this story is strange. I don't understand why the animal would repeatedly take flags, or what purpose it had with them, but I'm glad that officials got down to the bottom of it.

  • DelilahG-3
    5/30/2014 - 08:00 p.m.

    Flags were being ruined in an upstate New York cemetery and a sherriff's deputy investigating the reports saw the culprit vandalizing the flags. The culprit was a groundhog. Parents of people that were buried there complained about their flags being ruined on the graves. The groundskeeper Rodney Burdick says that 31 flags were missing from the graves of the veterans. The deputy saw the groundhog take the flags then tear them apart with his claws and take them into his den. I think that that is a very interesting and surprising story because i am wondering how big the flags were. I also think though that it is sad that the flags were ruined that were on top of veterans' graves.

  • Destinee P
    5/30/2014 - 10:52 p.m.

    The groundhog is just an animal. It's not like it knows what it's doing and stuff. I would be hurt if I was a family member of the person who passed. But it's not like an actualy person did it.

  • TylaB
    5/31/2014 - 11:26 p.m.

    I think that this story is strange. I don't understand why the animal would repeatedly take flags, or what purpose it had with them, but I'm glad that officials got down to the bottom of it.

  • NIKKIS-ZDE
    6/02/2014 - 11:01 a.m.

    what? why would the ground hog want the flags? he probably planned on using them to create a warm bed for himself and his family.

  • savannahf-5
    6/03/2014 - 06:54 p.m.

    This article is about a disruptive groundhog. It occurred at Cold Springs Cemetery in Lockport, New York. The cemetery had been getting complaints of missing and damaged flags. A deputy was sent to the veterans' section of the cemetery and saw the groundhog breaking the flags and taking them back to its den. This is such a weird story. I can't believe a groundhog was the one who was damaging the flags. I wonder why the groundhog was doing that.



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