Thin blue line flags spark teen to deface Springboro driveways

SPRINGBORO — A 17-year-old girl is the suspect in a possible trespassing and criminal mischief case in Springboro after police said she scribbled messages on two driveways.

Officers say the messages accused the homeowners in the Villages of Creekside neighborhood of being racist for flying thin blue line flags on their property.

“What we investigated was a report of some property being defaced,” said Springboro Police Det. Dustin Christian. “Basically accused the homeowners there of being racist for flying a thin blue line flag.”

Thin Blue Line flags are black and white American flags with one stripe colored blue. It represents fallen law enforcement officers and many people use it as a show of support for members of law enforcement.

Springboro police said the suspect targeted the two houses because they were flying the flag Monday and jotted down messages on their driveways.

“It was written in sidewalk chalk. So that can easily be erased. It was basically to the extent of that the flag was racist and that it should be thrown away,” Det. Christian said.

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Someone snapped a picture of the message and posted it in the comments of a public Facebook post about the incident. The picture shows print written in blue chalk on some concrete next to some trash bags that reads, “your flag belongs in that trash, racist.”

Springboro police shared a screen grab from a home security system on the department’s Facebook page that showed the teen walking up to one of the two houses. News Center 7 blurred the teen’s face in the picture, and this news organization is not naming her since she’s underage.

Officers say the video evidence helped them identify the suspect within hours. Springboro police say she was interviewed, with her parents present, at the police station Tuesday morning.

“I think this was just an impulsive decision and I think that this person regrets their decision at this point in time,” Christian said.

The two homeowners have to decide whether they want to press any charges. If police do go after charges in this case, they’d be misdemeanors filed in Warren County Juvenile Court.