Laurel Mayor Craig A. Moe and Laurel Police Chief Richard McLaughlin have announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for setting our City playgrounds on fire. If you have any information relating to the arson crimes, please call the Laurel Police Tip Line number at 301-498-7645. All calls will be confidential.
Below is the timeline:
Around 3:30 pm on Sunday, March 3, Firefighters from Laurel and surrounding communities were alerted, along with City Officials, to a fire at the Discovery Community Park located at Harrison Drive and Greenhill Avenue, in Laurel. Laurel City Police worked with Prince George's County Fire Investigators and have determined this incident was an “intentionally set" fire and the loss is estimated over $150,000.
On Friday, March 8, 2013, Laurel Police were able to detain two juvenile males who are believed to have started a small fire on playground equipment at Granville Gude Park located at 8300 Mulberry Street in Laurel near Laurel Lakes. The fire was extinguished by Laurel Police Officers on patrol in the area and the two suspects were apprehended nearby and arrested. City of Laurel Police charged the juveniles with crimes related to this incident and they were released into the custody of their parents.
The most recent playground fire occurred just before 4:30 pm on Monday, March 11, 2013, at Emancipation Park located at 8th and West Streets. Firefighters responded and arrived to encounter playground equipment burning. Laurel City Police are investigating the circumstances and Prince George’s County Fire Investigators determined the fire to be a case of Arson. Fire loss is estimated at nearly $100,000. There were no injuries at any of these sites.
Mayor Moe is asking residents to report any suspicious activity in and around City parks. If you see illegal activity, please call Laurel City Police at 301-725-3000 or 911 immediately and do not try to intervene in any way. Take down your observations and give them to the police. Your safety and the safety of the residents is first and foremost.