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Someone's stealing and burning LGBTQ pride flags

Residents in Hudson have pledged to fly pride flags in solidarity with the victims.
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Police just across the border in Wisconsin are investigating the theft of LGBTQ flags from three different properties as a possible hate crime.

Hudson Police Department said three LGBTQ rainbow flags and a pole were taken from three different homes along Orange Street, between 5th and 8th streets, between 9 a.m. on Wednesday and 7 a.m. Thursday.

Two of the flags were found burned, while the third flag is still missing.

The police department said it's not the first time this has happened in the city, adding there have been other instance of pride flags being stolen from the same area over the past year or so.

"The Hudson Police Department is investigating these incidents as possible hate crimes and we are asking for the public's help in locating those responsible for these incidents," police posted on Facebook.

People responding to the Facebook post say they will start flying a pride flag outside their homes in solidarity with the victims of the thefts.

One commenter, Rebecca Bonesteel, wrote: "I plan on flying a flag, and I hope others will do the same. I would love to see our streets lined with flags in support."

If you have any information on these cases, contact Hudson police at 715-386-4771.

Anti-LGBTQ crime in figures

Anti-LGBTQ crime accounted for 17.7 percent of all of the hate crimes reported in the U.S. in 2015, according to FBI figures.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation says the majority of anti-LGBTQ crime is committed against the person, rather than their property, with assaults – simple and aggravated – the most common hate crimes committed based on someone's sexual orientation.

For anti-LGBTQ crimes committed against property, the most common form is vandalism or property damage.

Around 30 percent of sexual orientation hate crimes happens at the victim's home, with 24 percent in the streets/on the roads and 11 percent in schools, the foundation found.

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