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Montgomery County Police announce hate crime arrests | News

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Montgomery County Police announce hate crime arrests

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WUSA9) --Montgomery County Police have announced the arrests of two teenagers in a series of hate crimes in Montgomery County, Md.

At a news conference late Friday afternoon, Police Chief Thomas Manger, County Executive Ike Leggett and members of the faith community said this type of crime will not be tolerated.

Two 16 year-old boys who attend a public high school in Potomac are under arrest. Police say a tip from a school resource officer helped crack this case.

Police Chief Thomas Manger said, "The fact that anyone at the age of 16 has the ability to have this kind of motivation and perpetrate this kind of act is very troubling."

The anti-Semitic slogans the teenagers allegedly painted in several Potomac locations were so hateful, Police Chief Thomas Manger refused to say them.

"This type of activity will not be tolerated. We are much better than this in terms of the community," said Montgomery Executive Ike Leggett.

The teenagers allegedly scrawled swastikas and other hateful symbols at a synagogue, a daycare center and on two school buses. Especially troubling is that the suspects are just 16.

"It's just horrible. Because it just makes you wonder what are they learning at school, what are they learning at home. What do they learn on the Internet that leads to this kind of behavior," said Hedieh Mirahmadi of the International Cultural Center.

Reverend Mansfield Kaseman added, "For us in Montgomery County, anyone hurt, any injustice any place, is an injustice to all of us. And if we can get that across to these youth, we think that there's a chance that they could understand the impact of this act, you see?"

The teenagers were released to their parents. Police are investigating whether the two are connected to as many as 20 other acts of vandalism in the county.

Written by Andrea McCarren, WUSA9