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There are many theories as to what motivates thieves to steal dozens of rented Canadian flags from the lawns of Oak Bay owners, but the Oak Bay Rotary Club just wants them back.

Joan Peggs is chair of the club’s flag program, which sees subscribers paying a token donation for the use of a large flag on a staked pole during three national holidays – Victoria Day, Canada Day and the Day. work.

The program has around 600 subscribers in Greater Victoria, but Peggs said the estimated 50 flags have been removed from their locations on private property in Oak Bay.

“It’s very disheartening for all of us, it’s just money that we have to put back into the program,” she said.

A curved flag pole on Newport Avenue sits without its Canadian flag, after thieves stole the banner, rented as part of a charity program by the Oak Bay Rotary Club, on the evening of June 29 . (Photo courtesy of Joan Peggs)

While the subject of missing Rotary flags – whether torn or cut from the posts or slipped, posts and all – is nothing new, Peggs said the club just didn’t have the stock this time around. to honor its usual policy of replacing missing banners for its subscribers.

“The silver lining, it’s the poles and the stakes, which is the most expensive part, are still there for a lot of them, but the flags are gone,” she said, noting that the flags were costing. $ 25 each at the club. However, five flagless poles were found in the gutter at McNeill Bay.

In an email sent to subscribers Wednesday, those in areas where the flag and pole are easily accessible are encouraged to take it for the evening and for July 1.

Among the most targeted areas were Newport, Dewdney, Estevan and Cavendish avenues.

Many of those whose flags were stolen called the police directly.

Oak Bay Police tweeted Wednesday that officers were investigating reports of 14 Canadian flags stolen from 12 Oak Bay properties on June 29. Police have no suspects at this time.

“It’s definitely a deviation from years past,” Deputy Chief Mark Fisher said of the volume of flights. He declined to speculate on the motive for the thefts, but noted that the Canada Day celebration this year had sparked controversy.

Police are asking anyone whose flag may have disappeared and who may have CCTV footage from the night of June 29-30 to call the department at 250-592-2424.

If anyone locates one of the removed flags – or wishes to return it – Peggs can be contacted by email at [email protected] or by phone at 250-598-1716.

– with files from Jake Rompfh

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Canada DayOak Bay Police DepartmentRotarytheft