The Washington Post

In Pr. George’s, 16 vehicles torched in a week; fire investigators searching for two believed responsible

Prince George’s County fire investigators are searching for at least two people they believe are responsible for setting 16 vehicles ablaze in the past week, hoping that they can catch the suspected arsonists before they start torching something more than parked cars.

The incidents, which began Wednesday, have spanned from Upper Marlboro to Kettering to Greenbelt, with the suspects usually striking in the early morning hours. The most recent cases occurred about 4:15 a.m. Monday, when three vehicles were found burned in the 7700 block of Hanover Parkway in Greenbelt, authorities said.

No one has been hurt in any of the cases.

Mark Brady, a Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department spokesman, said investigators believe at least two people are responsible for the fires — which have now destroyed or nearly destroyed 16 vehicles. He said fire officials were not yet releasing any description of the suspects so as not to limit their search, and they also were not releasing details about how the cars were torched because doing so could jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

“We’re not sure why they’re doing this, and hopefully they won’t escalate,” Brady said. “We’re trying to catch them and prevent that from happening.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the fire department’s arson tip line at 301-77-ARSON (27766). Information can also be e-mailed to

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.

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