UPDATE 4/14/2021: Former City of Laurel Police Chief David M. Crawford has now been charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree arson, and several other charges, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy announced Tuesday.

Crawford is accused of setting a car on fire in 2011 in Laurel, along with a 2019 fire in Laurel that burned two vehicles, a home and detached garage.

“The job of individuals in public safety is to serve and protect the public,” said State’s Attorney Braveboy. “When someone does not do that and breaks the public’s trust he or she must be held accountable and my office is here to do just that. It doesn’t matter who the perpetrator is or what position the individual holds.”  

Crawford is accused of starting at least 12 fires in the region since 2011, mainly in the Montgomery and Howard County areas. He has been tied to or is being investigated for several other “incendiary in nature” fires in the region including a March 2019 Waldorf fire.

Crawford is accused of having a “hit-list” that included a chiropractor, a family member, a community association and colleagues.


On Wednesday, March 3, 2021, members of two Arson Task Forces, along with investigators and detectives from multiple Maryland fire and police agencies, arrested 69-year-old David M. Crawford of Ellicott City.

Crawford is facing numerous arson and attempted murder charges in connection with a series of incendiary fires of homes, vehicles, and residential garages since 2011. Crawford is a former local law enforcement official who last served in 2010 when he resigned as Chief of City of Laurel Police Department. Prior to that, he was Chief of the District Heights Police Department, a position he assumed after retiring in 2000 at the rank of Major for the Prince George’s County Police Department.

Crawford is also being investigated for a March 3, 2019 fire in Waldorf, MD. The fire damaged an attached garage and vehicle. He has not been charged in this case, however, the Office of the State Fire Marshal is leading the investigation.

The arrest was the culmination of a collaboration between the following agencies: Prince George’s County Arson Task Force which is comprised of Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Office of the Fire Marshal/Fire Investigations Division and the Prince George’s County Police Homeland Security Unit, Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services, Howard County Police Department, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service – Fire and Explosives Investigations unit, Montgomery County Police Department, Frederick County Division of Fire & Rescue Services, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and in partnership with the Maryland State Office of the Fire Marshal, and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

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