MCFRS News Release
Montgomery County Fire and Explosive Investigators Arrest Two Suspects in String of Early Morning Fires
Rockville - - - Good police work, fire investigation and K9 dogs quickly halted a Rockville arson spree. Montgomery County Fire and Explosive Investigators have arrested and charged an adult and a juvenile in connection with early morning fires that occurred in the Rockville area. Fire and Explosive Investigators assisted Rockville City Police on the scene of an auto fire in the 1500-block of Crawford Drive in Rockville at 1:45 a.m. this morning. While processing the scene, a vandalized vehicle in the vicinity of the arson was discovered. As investigators collected evidence, a call for another car fire several blocks away was dispatched by the County’s Emergency Communication Center.
As units responded, they observed two individuals in the area. They were questioned by authorities and ultimately charged in connection with the vehicle arsons. Jonathan Argueta, age 18, has been charged with three counts of Arson 2nd Degree, Malicious Burning, Burning a Trash Container, Hindering an Investigation. Additional charges are pending and are expected to be filed by Rockville City Police. The juvenile charged in connection with these crimes is currently awaiting disposition from the Department of Juvenile Services.
Fire Chief Richard Bowers credits the teamwork and collaboration of resources of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue investigators, Rockville City Police and Montgomery County Police K9 officers with the quick arrests in this case. Initial damage estimates are $2500. No one was injured in these fires and the investigation is on-going.
Arson is one the leading causes of property loss due to fire in Montgomery County, Maryland and in the United States. Nationally, one-fourth of all fires are arson and over one-half of them are set by juveniles. Fire and Explosive Investigators are asking anyone with information about this arson or any suspicious activities observed to contact the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service ARSON Tip Line at 240-777-2263.
Below are photos of the suspect and two of the vehicles damaged. Additional details will be released as they become available.