PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Former Laurel Police Chief David Crawford has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of arson and reckless endangerment after being linked to at least 12 fires across Maryland, including three at his stepson's home.
Montgomery County officials announced Friday that Crawford had been indicted on six counts by a grand jury. Crawford faces pending charges in Prince George's, Howard and Frederick counties.
Crawford faces three charges of first-degree arson, two charges of reckless endangerment and one charge of second-degree arson.
Officials say Crawford set fire to a home in Clarksburg on Sept. 5, 2016 that belonged to his stepson. The home was unoccupied, but the fire spread to an adjoining home that was occupied. Crawford faces two first-degree arson charges for the two fires and one reckless endangerment charge because the adjoining home was occupied.
Officials then say that Crawford set fire to the same home of his stepson on Sept. 29, 2017, resulting in another first-degree arson charge and another reckless endangerment charge for putting the same neighbors at risk.
Finally, officials say Crawford set fire to a garage at the new residence of his stepson on Nov. 17, 2020, resulting in a second-degree arson charge.
According to Prince George's County fire officials, Crawford has been linked to at least 12 fires in Prince George's, Howard, Montgomery, Frederick and Charles counties between 2011 and 2020.
A plethora of other suspicious fires have been linked to Crawford - some of them are still under investigation.
Investigators were able to make a break in the case when they discovered a link between the victims. In each case, the victims had some kind of disagreement with Crawford in the past.
The attempted murder charges arose out of the fact that there were clear signs the residents were inside the homes at the time Crawford set fire to the structures, according to investigators.
Crawford was a police officer in Maryland beginning in the 1970s. He retired from the Prince George’s County Police Department as a Major in 2000.
Subsequently, he worked for the police department in District Heights and ultimately, became the Police Chief in Laurel and was asked to resign from Laurel in 2010.