‘Intolerable’: Salt Lake City police investigate pride flag thefts in Ballpark

The Utah Pride Center, located in the same neighborhood, was vandalized last month.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A pride flag is raised at Washington Square, marking the beginning of Pride Month on Thursday, June 1, 2023. Salt Lake City police are investigating a series of pride flag thefts in the Ballpark neighborhood that happened at about 1 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023.

Police are asking for help to learn who stole “multiple” pride flags and vandalized property overnight Sunday into Monday in the Ballpark neighborhood.

The crimes occurred at about 1 a.m. Monday at houses along Richards Street, West Temple and Merrimac Avenue, according to an email Ballpark Community Council chairperson Amy Hawkins sent to Ballpark residents.

In addition to the stolen pride flags, neighbors reported graffiti and a broken fence.

“This is intolerable,” Hawkins said. She added that the Ballpark neighborhood is home to both Harvey Milk Boulevard and the Utah Pride Center, which was vandalized last month with hate speech spray painted onto its sign.

Police said these acts could be considered hate crimes.

“The effects of a hate crime can be devastating and long-lasting for both the individual victim and the larger community,” SLCPD said in a news release.

Police are asking anyone with information about the thefts and vandalism to call 801-799-3000. Those who see hate crimes in-progress should call 911.

Correction • Dec. 6, 1:25 p.m.: An earlier version of this article misattributed who sent an email to the Ballpark community. It was Amy Hawkins, Ballpark Community Council chairperson.