Teens damage vending machine with American flag pole in Pacific


PACIFIC, Mo. – Customers noticed the American flags almost as much as the historic neon sign at the Beacon Car and Pet Wash on East Osage in Pacific. Apparently, teens noticed them, too.   

Surveillance video shows them using a flag pole with the flag still on it, to break into a vending machine around 1:15 Friday morning.  

The video shows they also tried using a boulder and even toppling the machine.   

They never were able to break it open. A customer first spotted the damaged machine with the ruined flag nearby.   

Manager, Mary Gullet couldn’t believe her eyes when she checked the car wash’s surveillance video.  

“I was really mad,” she said. “The cop couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. It makes you wonder (what) they’re taught (about) the flag.” 

Long-time customer, Jim Meier, Jr., who is also a Desert Storm and Desert Shield Marine Corps veteran, was sickened by what he saw in the video.     

“Everybody’s supposed to know what the flag represents and means,” he said. “To be utilized like that, it’s heart-wrenching to see it. It’s disrespectful.” 

The car wash owner said he not only wanted the teens (and/or their parents) to cover the $9,000 replacement cost of the machine, but also wanted them to write essays on what the American flag means to them. 

“We’re all about teaching them a lesson,” Gullet said.   


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