Former Maryland Police Chief Arrested Wednesday For Arson

He has been accused in a dozen arson cases spanning nine years






Ellicott City, MD (KB) A former Maryland Police Chief and Ellicott City resident was arrested Wednesday for setting multiple fires across different jurisdictions. He is currently being held without bond.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said 69-year-old David Crawford is the man accused in a dozen arson cases spanning nine years.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the many County and State authorities who worked together on this investigation of twelve fires since 2011 through 2020,” said Ball.

At a news conference on Thursday, Frederick County Fire Chief Tom Coe said Crawford was linked to a fire in Jefferson in 2018. Coe said luckily, a passerby noticed the fire.

“The fact that the fire started on the outside of the home while the occupants were sleeping could have set the stage for a catastrophic outcome. Fortunately, the quick-recognition of the fire by the citizen driving by the home allowed the occupants to safely exit their residence,” Coe explained.

Prince George’s County Police Detective Thomas Smith said the victims were linked to Crawford.

“All of the victims were known to the suspect, nobody was a complete stranger that didn’t know him. There are a lot of cases, so the motive in each one is probably a little bit different,” stated Smith.

Investigators also said Crawford often set the fires at night.

Howard County Fire Chief Bill Anuszewski called Crawford’s crimes “disturbing.”

“The sheer nature in which these acts are reported, combined with the previous position of such high public trust that was held by this suspect, is disturbing,” said Anuszewski.

Crawford is facing a series of arson and attempted murder charges in connection with fires set to homes, garages, and vehicles.