Caught on Camera: Vandals Steal 9/11 Memorial Plaque (Plaque has been returned)

NBC Channel 4 New York

A plaque honoring a 9/11 firefighter at a Long Island community center was ripped down and authorities have surveillance video showing a group of teens removing it.

The plaque honoring William Mahoney was removed, along with several flags, from the Connetquot Youth Association, overnight July 4, according to Mike Barbara, a vice president of the organization.

Surveillance video shows a group of teens lighting fireworks in a ballfield at the complex, then climbing on the roof and taking down the flags and plaque. [To view the video, click here.]

“They pried the plaque right off the rock,” Barbara said. “It’s terrible, for somebody that gave their life, you know, back on 9/11 and the place where his kids played and were brought up — for somebody to go and do that to somebody’s father is just sick, it’s not right.”

Barbara said after reports began to surface in the community about the vandalism, the plaque was thrown back over the center’s fence, wrapped in one of the flags.

“We got it back, that’s a good thing, but still what was done was done, it’s wrong and we’re not taking it lightly,” he said.

Suffolk County police are investigating, and Barbara said authorities have good leads based on images from the cameras.

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