Furry Flag ‘Thief’ at Adams Cemetery
The Berkshire Eagle reports Adams residents were outraged last week when they learned that dozens of flags — the exact number varies, depending on who you ask — had been stolen from or vandalized at the graves of veterans at Bellevue Cemetery.
But in the days since, it seems that the list of suspects has been narrowed to a single culprit: a groundhog also known as a woodchuck.
The case came together piece by piece, with one resident reporting having seen a woodchuck tearing apart a flag at the cemetery and another recalling a news story about woodchucks stealing flags from gravesites.
A woodchuck in Hudson, N.Y., made national headlines in 2012 when it was busted stealing flags from the graves of veterans laid out in honor of Independence Day.
Mark Paquette located a woodchuck hole at the Adams cemetery surrounded by a mound of dirt, with flowers and even a vase.
"It was like they were trying to fortify the outside of the hole," Paquette said.
Woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, are "abundant" in Massachusetts, according to MassWildlife. The main shaft of its burrows can reach up to 50 feet in length, but their entrances are often well-concealed.