LOS ANGELES (KCAL/KCBS/CNN) – A monumental robbery was caught on camera in downtown Los Angeles.
Someone swiped the American flag from the Go For Broke Museum and Monument, a World War II memorial honoring Japanese-American veterans.
The theft happened last week, according to the Rafu Shimpo, a Japanese-English language newspaper in Los Angeles.
Around 120,000 people of Japanese ethnicity on the West Coast, about half of them U.S. citizens, were ordered into internment camps two months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
But a year later, it was determined the U.S. needed them to help win the war.
Perhaps surprisingly, thousands volunteered to serve the country that had locked them up.
Robin Tyus said he admires those soldiers, whose history he’s learned in his daily walks past the black granite monument, which bears the names of more than 16,000 veterans.
Tyus still can’t believe someone stole the American flag that flew over their monument, which proudly displays their motto, “Go for broke.”
A security camera caught the thief in the act.
“Despicable,” Tyus said of the crime.
Sixteen-thousand courageous soldiers of Japanese heritage fought in World War II for the U.S., defending our country, and the flag stolen from their monument.
"Now, I’ve lived here for 15 years and I've never, ever experienced anything like that – them stealing the flag," Tyus said.
The CEO of Go For Broke said: “We’re disappointed that our flag was taken, although we don’t think there’s any evidence of ill intent toward our veterans.”
Those veterans were war heroes. Two divisions – the 442nd and the 100th – are among the most-decorated military units for their size and length of service.
So far, there’s no word of any arrests or suspects.