Montgomery County Police are asking for the public’s help identifying suspects caught on surveillance video during a series of hate-based vandalisms in several Silver Spring neighborhoods.
Investigators from the Third District have released Ring camera footage of a suspect setting fire to a flag hanging on the front porch of a home, but they believe there may have been more than one person involved.
During the overnight hours of Tuesday, June 27, 2023, to Wednesday, June 28, 2023, at least eleven Pride and Ukrainian flags, as well as signboards, were burned in the neighborhoods of Mansfield Road, Wayne Place, Ellsworth Place, Greenbrier Drive, Pershing Drive, and Deerfield Avenue.
In response to the reports of these incidents, the County Council issued a statement that read in part:
“This disturbing spate of hate crimes and vandalism follows record high levels of hate and bias incidents in Montgomery County. In 2021, Montgomery County had 143 reported bias incidents, which was the highest number in nearly a decade. Then in 2022, that number climbed to 157. We must step up to combat these alarming incidents.
“In Montgomery County, we believe in inclusion, compassion and diversity. We stand together in forcefully denouncing acts of hate and violence in all forms, and we remain committed to protecting our LGBTQ+ neighbors and all those impacted from these awful acts. We must ensure everyone—including our LGBTQ+ community—is safe, seen and supported everywhere in Montgomery County.”
Crime Solvers of Montgomery County offers a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to an arrest. Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at (866) 411-TIPS (8477), submit a tip online, or via the P3 Tips app.