DOCUMENT: Florida, Crime

Confederate Flag Thief Nabbed By Florida Police

Video of heist was uploaded to Facebook

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Flag Thief Nabbed

AUGUST 24--The man who was filmed tearing down a Confederate flag hanging outside a Florida residence has been arrested on theft charges, according to police who have yet to collar the alleged thief’s videographer/getaway driver.

Dejerrian Dequan Murray, 24, was busted last week in connection with the July 11 flag theft at the Bradenton home of Robin Eaker, a 57-year-old Tropicana employee. Murray was charged with misdemeanor theft and freed on $2000 bond, according to court records.

Police first learned of the flag heist when video of the theft was uploaded to Facebook. As seen above, the clip shows Murray jumping up to rip down the flag, which he then carries to a getaway car being driven by an accomplice (who giddily filmed the action). 

Eaker did not initially report the theft of the flag. But after seeing a news report about the video being posted to Facebook, Eaker contacted police to say that the flag--which cops valued at $100--had been stolen from his residence.

The video was first posted to the Facebook page of Jamari Williams, a 23-year-old music promoter who is a friend of Murray. Within the past year, Williams and Murray (seen at right) have been separately arrested with the same man, Benny Mobley. 

According to investigators, an anonymous caller to a local Crime Stoppers hotline provided cops with the names of Murray and the getaway driver. When detectives went to a possible address for Murray, a female relative of the suspect spontaneously announced, "I already know why you guys are here. It's because my cousin took that flag."

In an interview with TSG before Murray's arrest, Eaker said he was upset that police were planning only to file a theft count--and not hate crime charges--against the Confederate flag thieves.

While cops sought to identify suspects, Eaker and a relative scoured Williams’s Facebook page--and those of his friends--for photos of the man seen on video swiping his flag. It was a fruitless pursuit, Eaker noted, because “They all look the same to me.” (2 pages)