Vandals deface pair of homes in Laurel

May 16, 2007|By Melissa Harris | Melissa Harris,Sun Reporter

Vandals defaced the interiors of two unoccupied Laurel homes with anti-Semitic and racially biased symbols and words over the weekend, according to Howard County police.

Police do not believe the homes' owners, who were living overseas at the time of the crimes, were targeted, although they are minorities, said Pfc. Jennifer Reidy, a spokeswoman for the department.

Vandals broke into the houses in the 9600 block of Washington Ave. and "splashed paint throughout the house," Reidy said.

Police are offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. The department has struggled to close similar hate-bias crimes involving vandalism to front lawns, garage doors and street signs in Ellicott City and Clarksville.

"There's often not a lot of evidence to gather, especially in cases where the victims are not specifically targeted," Reidy said. "We can't go looking for acquaintances or ask whether they've had any problems. Our best hope is that neighbors have seen suspicious activity."

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