Shaare Torah

Police Identify ‘Person of Interest’ in Vandalism Case at the Shaare Torah Synagogue (VIDEO)

Gaithersburg Police Chief Mark Sroka said detectives have identified a “person of interest” who could be involved in the Shaare Torah Synagogue vandalism case.

Local authorities have surveillance footage showing a masked person running away from the building. 

Sroka said the report came in at 7:10 a.m. this morning. That’s when police officers found eleven swastikas and other hate crime graffiti sprayed painted overnight on the building which is located in the Lakelands community.

“We are an inclusive community. … One that takes a lot of pride of its diversity. … This is an isolated incident, but one is too many,” Sroka said.

The community has showed support and is reacting against this incident. Connie Liss, president of Shaare Torah Synagogue, said seeing the graffiti made her sad but she is confident the congregation will be able to move forward with the community’s support.

“We hope we will know who did it. Maybe learn a little bit about something that motivated them,” Liss said.

According to Sroka, based on the video surveillance footage the incident occurred around 2:37 a.m. on April 7.

“They [detectives] are going to be applying for a search warrant. … We are going to put out a press release and the video footage [of the crime] to the community,” Sroka said.

Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal of Shaare Torah Synagogue said it’s really to sad that a few people in our society “don’t get it.”

“We’re working to clean off the building [be]cause we don’t want to give the person the satisfaction seeing this kind of hatred things on the building,” Blumenthal said.

The Shaare Torah Synagogue is located at 1408 Main Street in Gaithersburg.

Gaithersburg Teen Charged With Shaare Torah Vandalism Pleads Guilty

Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza

The teen, who was arrested and charged with vandalizing a Gaithersburg synagogue, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, according to court documents. Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza was charged with defacement of religious property, damage to a religious institution, and malicious destruction of property for the antisemitic graffiti found on Shaare Torah Synagogue in Gaithersburg back in April. His sentencing is set […]

Read more

Gaithersburg Teen Charged With Shaare Torah Vandalism Regrets His Actions (VIDEO)

Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza Aline Barros

It was an emotional interview for Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza at his home in Gaithersburg. The teen was arrested and charged with vandalizing a Gaithersburg synagogue. The 18-year-old teen says he is not a racist person and that he is really sorry. The congregation’s surveillance video helped lead police to Spinoza-Carranza. It shows him allegedly spray painting swastikas, […]

Read more

Closing Vandalism Case Was Important to Detectives (VIDEO)

Rebecca Innocenti 2

In this MyMCMedia extra video, Montgomery County Corporal Rebecca Innocenti says it was important for detectives to identify the suspects in the vandalism case at the Shaare Torah synagogue as quickly as possible:

Read more

How Detectives Used 7-11 Surveillance Video to Solve Vandalism Case (VIDEO)

Rebecca Innocenti 3

In this MyMCMedia extra video, Montgomery County Corporal Rebecca Innocenti explains how detectives used video from a local 7-11 to find the masked suspect(s) in the vandalism case at the Shaare Torah synagogue in Gaithersburg.

Read more

Vandalism Suspect: "I Really Regret What I Did, I'm Really Sorry" (VIDEO)

Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza

In an interview outside his Gaithersburg home today, the 18-year-old charged with vandalism at the Shaare Torah synagogue says he is not a racist person and that he is really sorry. “I want to say that I really regret what I did and I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have done it. … I’m not a […]

Read more

Police Announce Arrest in Shaare Torah Vandalism Case (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

Corporal Rebecca Innocenti answers questions from reporters at news conference.

From the beginning, video played a key role in the vandalism case at the Shaare Torah synagogue and today Montgomery County Police said it was a video from a nearby business that resulted in the arrest of an 18-year-old suspect. Corporal Rebecca Innocenti answered questions about the arrest of that teen in front of the […]

Read more

Mother Says Alleged Synagogue Vandal Regrets His Actions

Sebastian Espinoza-Carranzo

The mother of the Gaithersburg teen charged with spray painting anti-semitic messages on a Kentlands synagogue says he regrets what he did. Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza, 18, of the 16700 block of Sioux Lane, was arrested on April 14 and charged with property damage to a religious institution, defacement of a religious property, and malicious destruction of […]

Read more

Shaare Torah President Shares Thoughts on Arrest of Gaithersburg Teen (VIDEO)

Connie Liss

In this MyMCMedia extra, Connie Liss, president of the Shaare Torah Synagogue talks about arrest of a Gaithersburg teen for defacing the building on Main Street. Liss warns against complacency: Related coverage:

Read more

Police Arrest Man in Synagogue Vandalism in Gaithersburg


A man is under arrest this morning in connection with the vandalism of the Shaare Torah Synagogue on Main Street in Gaithersburg. Montgomery County Police announced Wednesday morning that the man was arrested this morning but provided no additional details. More information is expected at noon. Last week police said they had identified a “person of […]

Read more

Council President Leventhal on the Shaare Torah Vandalism Case (VIDEO)

Vandalism at Shaare Torahin Gaithersburg for slider 450 x 280

At his weekly briefing on April 13, Council President George Leventhal called the vandalism at Shaare Torah synagogue a “hate crime” as he shared his thoughts on the April 7th incident. Take a look:

Read more
Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.


| No comments yet.

Engage us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter