Former City of Laurel Police Chief David Crawford has been arrested and charged after reportedly being connected to at least 12 arsons in the state of Maryland. Crawford is also being charged with attempted murder.
He resigned as Police Chief in 2010, and it is believed the arsons began in 2011 and spanned the course of almost a decade.
The City of Laurel is located in Prince George's County, but the arsons Crawford was allegedly tied to also happened in Montgomery County, Howard County, Frederick County and Charles County.
One of the arsons Crawford is allegedly tied to targeted Richard McLaughlin, Crawford's successor as Police Chief. Another targeted a former City Administrator.
McLaughlin is baffled as to why Crawford would have wanted to harm him, saying that they had gotten along as co-workers. "We worked together. I respected him. I looked up to him. I’ve racked my brain as to why. What would have caused this? There was no conflict. That’s a long time to hold a grudge," he says of Crawford.
In six of the arson cases allegedly being tied to Crawford, people were at home sleeping with their families when the fires started.
The case got a break in 2020 when investigators found a link between the victims targeted in the arsons, leading them to question Crawford.