LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A reward has been increased to $5,000 dollars for information leading to suspects linked to a series of destructive arsons targeting playgrounds in Laurel since March 3rd.
The damage is now approaching $250,000 dollars and the latest fire occurred at Emancipation Park on Monday afternoon.
The following press release was issued by the Fire Marshal in Prince George's County:
The Office of the Fire Marshal of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department and the City of Laurel Police Department are jointly investigating incidents involving playgrounds being destroyed by fire.
On Sunday, March 3, 2013, firefighters and the City of Laurel Police Department arrived at the Laurel Discovery Community Park, Harrison Drive and Greenhill Avenue, to find the surface and playground equipment on fire. Prince George's County Fire Investigators have determined this incident to be incendiary or "set" and estimate fire loss at $100,000.
On Friday, March 8, 2013, a set fire occurred to playground equipment at Granville Gude Park, 8300 Mulberry Street in Laurel. Laurel Police detained two juveniles males believed to have started the fire on playground equipment on this date. The suspects were arrested by the City of Laurel Police Department and charged with crimes related to this incident. The incident, however, remains open and under investigation by Fire Investigators.
On Monday, March 11, 2013, firefighters and law enforcement officials arrived at Emancipation Park, 8th Street and West Street, to find another playground destroyed by fire. Fire Investigators have also declared this to be a case of Arson. Fire loss is estimated at $100,000.
Prince George's County Fire Investigators are seeking assistance from members of the community. Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to call our Arson Tip Line at 301-77-ARSON. Tips may be left anonymously.
The City of Laurel Police Department has posted a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for these crimes. Members of the community are encouraged to call the Laurel Police Department Tip Line at 301-498-7645.
Until the investigations are closed, citizens and residents, especially those that live, work or travel in the area of playgrounds, are asked to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately by calling 911. If suspicious activity is detected you should attempt to document descriptions of those involved including articles of clothing and vehicles, tag numbers are particularly helpful. Never try to intervene in the suspicious activity other then calling 911, never put yourself into harm's way.