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Gay couple’s Pride flag stolen from outside their home. But the story doesn’t end in disaster, for once

Emma Powys Maurice May 3, 2021
pride flag

The Olivos' Pride flag was snatched by an surprising culprit (News 19)

A gay couple feared the worst when their Pride flag was stolen from outside their house, but the culprit wasn’t quite what they expected.

Charlie Olivo and his husband live in a quiet, friendly neighbourhood in University Heights, Ohio – so when their Pride flag disappeared last week, they were shocked.

They assumed it was one of the many cases of Pride flags being stolen or burned by homophobic bigots, as they certainly wouldn’t be the first.

When Olivo turned to social media on Tuesday (27 April) in hopes that it might’ve been caught on nearby security footage, neighbours were outraged to hear what happened.

Locals immediately rallied round the couple, including Joe Hochhieser who offered to replace the Pride flag and donate ten more to those who wanted them.

“We kind of live in this time where there’s a lot of negativity. I thought, how can we spread a little bit of joy, how can we spread a little bit of light?” he told 19 News.

But as the hunt for the culprit brought the community together, no one realised the Olivos’ dog Daisy was already on the case.

Later that night the flag-knapper returned to the scene of the crime and Daisy was ready.

“Our dog started barking out the window and like directly at the tree,” Olivo said. “So I opened the blinds, looked out the window and saw this little red and orange stripe.

“I said ‘Oh my gosh, I think that’s our Pride flag’ and I looked and saw a big, fat raccoon walking up the limb, back and forth.”

It turns out the furry fiend had snatched the flag off its pole and scurried up a tree, where it had used the rainbow fabric to build a stylish nest right in their front yard.

“We were shocked and a little bit like, ‘Oh my gosh, we can’t believe this happened,'” Olivo said, relieved to know the story had an innocent explanation.

“It was very heartwarming, pretty funny but a good ending. He can keep the flag,” he added.

And the neighbours have kept theirs too – so now there are ten new Pride flags flying in the neighbourhood, 11 if you count the raccoon’s.

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