Arson, Vandalism Under Investigation at 3 Bethesda Churches

NBC Universal, Inc.

Investigators may have a break in a case after vandals targeted three churches in Bethesda, Maryland.

Sources familiar with the incident said investigators believe they know what happened and believe there is juvenile involvement. They may know the name of a person of interest, and while there has been no arrest, investigators are confident there is no longer a public threat.

Security camera video of the set fire at St. Jane De Chantal Parish July 10 shows the reflection of the flames in a window from some torched pews and the white flashes from a special fire alarm system to warn hearing impaired people of danger.

“What I have been told by the fire investigator, that he did not believe that it was connected to the Dobbs decision by the Supreme Court or the greater issue of choice and life and so forth,” said Pastor Samuel Giese of St. Jane de Chantal Parish.

The charred pews are covered in plastic as arrangements are made to make repairs.

In addition to the fire, the pastor said stations of the cross were pulled down from the walls and an American flag was burned. Some books were shredded.

On the same weekend, two other nearby churches were targeted: an attempted arson at the North Bethesda United Methodist Church and broken tombstones at the Wildwood Baptist Church.

Contact Us