ROCKVILLE, Md. - Authorities have launched an investigation after surveillance video captured two suspects hanging hate fliers at the headquarters for the Montgomery County Republican Committee.
Montgomery County police described the fliers, which were attributed to a right wing extremist groups, as vandalism.
“It does appear that the suspects appear to be concealing their identities so that maybe difficult but anytime anyone has any evidence, photographs or surveillance video that certainly helps our investigation," Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti with the Montgomery County Police Department said.
Republicans told FOX 5 the crime was a smear campaign aimed at linking them to groups they do not support. GOP members left the fliers up to allow police time to investigate the incident and that their offices have nothing to do with extremist groups such as the Patriot Front and Blood and Soil.
"This was a smear campaign trying to affiliate us with these people and we have absolutely no interest in supporting them,” said Richard Jurgena the president of the Montgomery County Republican Committee. “We do not have the same beliefs and if they put them on our door to influence us they did the wrong thing.”
Investigators said the suspects placed the signs on the front door at about 9:55 p.m. on Saturday.
The video captured two suspects walking up to the GOP headquarters door then stepping out of the frame to glue four posters to the front door. The suspects walk off, but not before gluing a fifth poster to a mailbox, officials said. The suspects then took video of the photos of the signs.
Montgomery County police said under state and federal statue the incident does not rise to the level of a hate crime, but said that could change if they uncover evidence in the investigation pointing in that direction.
The Montgomery County Republican Committee was scheduled to meet about the incident Monday evening in which Jurgena was expected to ask for a reward to be put up to help catch the suspects.