ALBERTA

Taber, Alta. Pride Flags Stolen And Burned Will Be Replaced

Gasoline was used to light the flagpole on fire.

06/26/2017 07:04 EDT | Updated 06/26/2017 16:22 EDT

TABER, Alta. — Police in a small southern Alberta town are treating the burning of a rainbow Pride flag as an arson case.

Taber Police Chief Graham Abela says someone used fuel to light a flag pole on fire Saturday and the flames spread to the flag.

Organizers of Taber's first Pride event plan to raise a third rainbow flag.

The first flag raised earlier this month was stolen.

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In a statement, the town says it is disappointed with the vandalism and is working with the police investigation.

The town says any further vandalism attempts will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

"The actions of a few people does not represent the community of Taber as a whole, and the town of Taber condemns the actions of the individual or individuals who have committed this crime,'' the town said in a release Monday.

"The town stands for equality, inclusion, and respect for all citizens, no matter their backgrounds or beliefs.''

Abela says police have spoken with the Taber Equality Alliance about what happened and have offered victim services supports. He says police are looking for tips from the public to help the investigation.

The town stands for equality, inclusion, and respect for all citizens, no matter their backgrounds or beliefs.Taber, Alta. statement

"This act of arson is a public safety concern and is not taken lightly by the Taber Police,'' Abela said in a release Monday.

"This type of activity is not in keeping with the values of the community and we denounce this crime.''

Earlier this month, vandals in nearby Lethbridge defaced a rainbow crosswalk twice in four days that was put in place to make the city's Pride festival.