Frank Piper.
Frank Piper. Brett Wortman

Flags stolen from RSL building

THREE flags honouring the men and women of the Australian Defence Force have been stolen in broad daylight from the Maroochydore RSL sub-branch.

A man was seen observing the National, Royal Australian Navy Ensign and Royal Air Force Ensign flags outside the RSL on Memorial Avenue at about 10.50am before he plucked them from the wall and walked away.

Maroochydore RSL sub-branch deputy president Frank Piper called the brazen theft a disgusting crime.

“Everyone here is appalled at this act,” Mr Piper said.

“This has never happened before. We’ve been putting them outside the club in that exact spot for the past three years.

“We have no idea why anyone would want to take them. They mean a lot to us.”

Mr Piper called on the person responsible to return the flags.

“They’re quite expensive,” he said. “I’ve been told by our treasurer they’re worth $1000. Both the Navy and Air Force ensigns are hard to come by these days.

“We think if we didn’t have them there, people wouldn’t know what this place was.

“Those flags are a mark of respect.”

The flags have been mounted outside the club every day between 8.30am and 4.30pm.

They represent the three armed services, the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.

CCTV footage taken from the Maroochydore RSL Club across the street shows the man approaching the flags and admiring each of them, and then picking them off the wall.

He then walked down Memorial Avenue and disappeared behind the nearby CWA Hall.

The footage has been passed on to police, who are investigating.

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