Ku Klux Klan

Arrest Made in Vandalism of Gaithersburg Synagogue

An 18-year-old Gaithersburg man has confessed to defacing an area synagogue, Montgomery County Police said Wednesday.

Sebastian David Espinoza-Carranza admitted to police that he spray-painted swastikas, "Hitler" and "KKK" on the Shaare Torah Synagogue in the Kentlands area of Gaithersburg on April 7, WTOP reports.

Espinoza-Carranza has been charged under the state's hate crime law with property damage to a religious institution, defacing a religious property and malicious destruction of property over $1,000.

Surveillance video caught several masked suspects as they ran from wall to wall and door to door between 2:40 and 3 a.m. on April 7, spray-painting the building.

On Tuesday, Espinosa-Carranza met detectives for an interview at a police station, where he confessed to the crimes, police said. According to WTOP, Espinoza-Carranza told police they would find the clothes and shoes he wore during the crime at his home.

He was arrested and has been released on bond.

"These kinds of cases are often difficult to solve. I appreciate the tireless detective work by those who investigated this atrocious act," Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger said in a release. "The response to this incident has been loud and clear, and has been heard from nearly every segment of our diverse community. We don't tolerate hate, and we will not be intimidated by ignorance."

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Authorities have also identified juvenile suspects in the case. Additional charges are anticipated.

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