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Former police Chief accused of setting fires at homes of people he disagreed with

AP Photo_John Raoux (80)
Prince George County

A former police Chief in Maryland is now facing several charges after investigators say that he set fires to the homes of people whom he had arguments or disagreements with over the span of years.

69-year-old David M. Crawford was arrested on Wednesday after investigators connected him to 11 arson fires to homes, vehicles, and garages between 2011 to 2020.

“The victims include a former City of Laurel official, three former law enforcement officials including a former City of Laurel Police Chief, two relatives, two of Crawford’s former physicians, and a resident in his neighborhood,” Officials in Prince George County said in a new release.

Investigators say they suspected that they were dealing with the same suspect because in all of the cases, the arsonist used gasoline soaked clothing to ignite a fire at the home or dwelling at night and that video and witnesses described a silver sedan driving away from the scene.

They finally got a break in the case in 2020, however, when authorities found that all of the victims had, had some sort of disagreement with Crawford leading up to the fire at their homes.

A search warrant of Crawford’s home in January yielded “several critical items of evidence.”

Crawford’s lawyer Robert Bonsib, told CNN that the allegations against his client “has a long history of  serving his community as a police officer of a large local department and then as Chief of Police for a municipal department. The allegations in the criminal complaint are inconsistent with his long history of public service.”

He is now facing several arson and attempted murder charges.

Officials say the attempted murder charges stem from the fact that in almost all of the cases, it was evident that the attended target or their family was present at the time that the fires were set.