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Manteca transient arrested after curbside flags saluting American veterans are taken
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Pointing to a spot on the curb in the 300 block of West Yosemite Avenue where two American flags are missing, Manteca Police officer Joe DeAngelis demands that Manteca transient Rich Soring, 47, give him the crumpled flag he had hidden under his sweat shirt. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Ripping an American Flag from its curbside pole in the 300 block of West Yosemite Avenue Wednesday afternoon got Manteca transient Rich Soring, 47, arrested as he sat on a brick planter island.

Manteca Police said a witness called to say she saw a man taking two flags from the downtown Veterans’ Day salute and carrying them behind a building adjacent to Sycamore Avenue where he was seen ripping the flag from its pole.

The witness added that the man stuffed the flag under his sweat shirt and threw another flag into a mid-street brick planter on Yosemite Avenue.

Officers Joe DeAngells and Randy Chiek confronted the man within five minutes who initially said he didn’t know anything about flags.  DeAngelis told him to take the bulge out from under his sweatshirt exposing the red, white and blue fabric.

DeAngelis found the matching pole of the crumpled flag below bushes across the street next to the city bike path, and Chiek located another flag still intact in the bushes in the interior of the planter.

Officers said Soring told them that he was a war veteran.  He was charged with stealing the two flags, police said.  Soring was transported to the Manteca city jail.