Alleged thief leads police to flag stolen from boy's produce sta - WNEM TV 5

Alleged thief leads police to flag stolen from boy's produce stand

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SHEPHERD, MI (WNEM) -

A young entrepreneur working to make his community better became the victim of theft at his produce stand.

The thief made off with a prized flag that was given to the boy for his initiative to start a business and donate fresh food to the local food pantry.

Now police say the thief has lead them to the flag.

The produce stand is self-serve, and open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.

Blake Klumpp, 12, runs the produce store in downtown Shepherd. It's filled mostly with food from his own farm.

"I've always been a big part of farming, especially on my dad's farm. When I seen there wasn't an actual place to get produce in Shepherd, I've seen places like that around, but there wasn't one here," Blake said.

The stand runs on the honor code and people pay into a lock box for their produce while Blake is at school. He then takes the money and saves it, hoping it will help pay for college one day.

"We're very proud of him. He's self-motivated and wise beyond his years. So he's really taken it on and we support him," said Jaime Klumpp, Blake's mother.

Blake's ambition hasn't gone unnoticed. A few months ago State Rep. Kevin Cotter gave him a state of Michigan flag that once flew over the Lansing Capitol building. Blake mounted it to the side of his red barn-inspired store.

"It meant a lot to me, not that it was just a flag, but that it was Kevin Cotter that gave it to me because it showed he was proud of what he was doing," Blake said.

Recently someone stole that flag.

While confused and frustrated someone would take the flag, Blake said he has moved on and is just focused on his business.

However, TV5 though the empty flag pole wasn't right and the flag should be replaced. The new flag may not hold the same sentimental value as the one that was stolen, but at least Blake has a flag for his stand.

He said he still likes to think the best of people and hopes whoever took his flag does the right thing.

"It would mean a lot to me. I was so disappointed when they took it. It would mean a lot that they had the heart to return it," Blake said.

Now Blake is getting his wish. Shepherd Police report that a man left a voicemail on Sept. 16 admitting to stealing the flag. The message gave the location where the original flag could be recovered, and apologized.

The Shepherd Police Department recovered it, the investigation continues.

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