ADAMS, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say furry critters, not vandals, are likely to blame for American flags that disappeared from veterans’ graves in Massachusetts.

The flags at Bellevue Cemetery in Adams were first reported missing earlier this month. Residents volunteered to replace the flags by hand, but then those went missing too.

flags3 Woodchucks To Blame For Missing American Flags At Cemetery

Bellevue Cemetery in Adams. (WBZ-TV)

Police were called to investigate, and Chief Richard Tarsa told The Boston Globe Monday that officers found evidence that a woodchuck is likely using the flags in its burrow.

flags4 Woodchucks To Blame For Missing American Flags At Cemetery

A damaged flag outside a woodchuck’s hole in Bellevue Cemetery in Adams . (WBZ-TV)

Tarsa says a similar incident happened in New York in 2012, where police linked a woodchuck to about 75 flags that disappeared from Cedar Park Cemetery.
He says about 12 to 18 flags were damaged in Adams.

woodchuck Woodchucks To Blame For Missing American Flags At Cemetery

This woodchuck took about 75 flags from Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson, NY in 2012. (WBZ-TV)

Police say they still plan to keep an eye on the cemetery.

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