Deputies launch investigation into viral Confederate flag theft

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Robin Eaker woke up over the weekend and noticed his Confederate flag was missing.  He thought it was just neighborhood kids being kids.

"I wasn't going to waste the tax payers dollars having it looked into by the police," he said.

Just as he realized his flag was missing, a video was circulating the internet picking up millions of views.  It was a video he didn't even know about.

"My neighbor texted me and told me to go on the internet, which I don't do; I'm not an internet person," said Eaker.

In this case, he made an exception.  When he logged on, he found the video of two men pulling up to his home and stealing his flag.

He then decided to call Manatee deputies.

"When I saw it, I was like, 'OK, you guys are pretty ballsy to put this on the internet,'" he said.

Eaker said the flag does not represent anything much to him.  He was flying a South Carolina flag, until it became tattered.

That is when he replaced it with the Confederate flag.

"It is a thing that happened in the past. No one should be enslaved," Eaker continued.

Before they knew they had a victim, deputies with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office weren't even sure where the crime occurred.

"This solves the mystery of who the victim is," said sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow.

Now they are working to track down the man who posted it online.  The two in the video face petit theft charges.

"It certainly gives us an advantage in investigation when you have it on video," offered Bristow.

Eaker has his own message for the two -- not of anger, but of shock for being so transparent.

"Stupid prank dude. It is a criminal act. You are going to have a record now. For the guy who jumped up and grabbed the flag -- a jump like that, you could be playing basketball," he added.