A 20-year-old Ashburn man has been arrested on a charge that he painted swastikas on a Loudoun County church.
Michael Crawford, of the 20000 block of Snowshoe Square, is the fifth person that Loudoun sheriff's deputies have arrested in connection with a rash of graffiti on several county churches.
Crawford, who was arrested last Friday, is accused of vandalizing Second Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church on Gum Spring Road south of Route 50 in late September. The church is one of five that were vandalized during the summer and fall. Erin Whitcomb, 20, and Leroy Fryer, 22, both of Leesburg, were arrested last week and charged with defacing a Leesburg area church.
In addition, two 17-year-old Ashburn youths were charged earlier this month with defacing houses of worship. The teenagers also have been charged with breaking and entering in connection with the Sept. 13 theft of two assault rifles from a Leesburg gun shop. Police did not release their names because they are juveniles.
The string of vandalisms began in early July when swastikas were sprayed with black paint on the walls of the Church of the Nazarene on Roxbury Hall Road, outside Leesburg, according to sheriff's investigator Bobbie Ochsman.
In August, vandals struck Faith Hope Love Evangelist Church on Gum Spring Road south of Route 50 and defaced road signs along Evergreen Mills Road. In September, Second Shiloh and the Worship Center Assembly of God Church on Gleedsville Road in Leesburg were defaced.