Vandalism at Shaare Torah in Gaithersburg (VIDEO)

shaaretorahUPDATED Gaithersburg police are investigating vandalism at the Shaare Torah Synagogue at 1408 Main Street in Gaithersburg.

Swastikas and other hate crime graffiti were spray painted on the building overnight.

Officer Dan Lane said a citizen flagged down a passing police officer at about 7:10 a.m. this morning to report the vandalism at the synagogue, which is located in the Lakelands community.

According to Lane, eleven swastikas were painted on the building in white. He said detectives are following up leads and looking at surveillance video.

If you have a tip for police, call the Police Tipline at 301.330.4471. You can also call the station at 301.258.6400 and ask for detectives.

Lane said police are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime.

Watch the video (below) for reaction from the congregation and surveillance video of the scene:

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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 […]

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

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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, […]

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Closing Vandalism Case Was Important to Detectives (VIDEO)

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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:

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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 […]

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

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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 […]

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Mother Says Alleged Synagogue Vandal Regrets His Actions

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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 […]

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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 […]

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

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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:

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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.


2 Responses to “Vandalism at Shaare Torah in Gaithersburg (VIDEO)”

  1. Avatar
    On April 7, 2015 at 4:28 pm responded with... #

    Prison time, NOT probation or public service, for whoever did this.

  2. Avatar
    On April 8, 2015 at 4:12 pm responded with... #

    Hare Krishna Community Condemns Attack on Gaithersburg Synagogue

    Potomac, MD—The Hare Krishna Temple in Potomac, Maryland, joins hands with other religious and civic leaders in our region in condemning the vandalizing and desecration of the Shaare Torah Synagogue in Gaithersburg.

    We are abhorred that such an attack against our Jewish friends would occur in Montgomery County. Historically, across the globe the Jewish community has borne great suffering due to acts of violence perpetrated against them. Such violent acts, which are seeded by prejudice and bigotry, should not be tolerated.

    The Krishna community has always enjoyed warm and friendly relationships with our Jewish neighbors. In recent years, the broader Hindu community in the Washington metropolitan region, including our ISKCON Temple, has enjoyed many exchanges with our Jewish friends to promote common understanding and respect.

    Sadly, antagonism against religious communities is on the rise worldwide. However, in the United States, and especially in Maryland and Montgomery County, it is important we stand together with our Jewish neighbors and against the ignorance and bigotry that leads to such disgraceful attacks.

    We wish the entire Jewish community well. We pray that despite this sad event, the Passover Celebration they observe this week provides solace and shelter.

    The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), popularly known as the Hare Krishna Society, is a monotheistic Vaishnava Hindu tradition. ISKCON’s main temple is located on Oaklyn Drive in Potomac, Maryland.

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