The same 7-Eleven convenience store in Camp Springs, Maryland, that was set ablaze with Molotov cocktails earlier this year was targeted again early Saturday morning, Prince George’s County Fire officials said.
This is the third time reported this year a 7-Eleven store in the county was set on fire by Molotov cocktails being thrown at or inside the store.
Fire officials are now asking for the public’s help to identify individuals responsible for the arson attacks.
“These are dangerous crimes, and, while we are thankful that no one was injured in any of the fires, the potential that someone could have been critically hurt is our most serious concern. If anyone has even the slightest bit of information that may help our Investigators to close these cases, please contact us. This must be brought to a stop,” Prince George’s County Fire Chief Tiffany Green said in a statement on Facebook.
Fire officials were called to the 7-Eleven in the 6400 block of Auth Road in Camp Springs early Saturday morning after a 911 caller reported “multiple suspects had ignited a fire inside a convenience store,” fire officials said.
The store was occupied and operating at the time, but the fire was extinguished without incident.
Fire officials requested fire investigators report to the scene.
“The preliminary investigation revealed that an unknown suspect used two incendiary devices commonly known as “Molotov cocktails” to ignite a fire inside the store. The suspect appeared to be assisted by multiple accomplices,” fire officials said.
Prince George’s County Police canvassed the area for the suspects, but they escaped.
Damages are estimated to be approximately $5,000.
The case is similar to two other incidences that occurred in January, which are still under investigation.
The first incident occurred on Jan. 6 at the same location on Auth Road, where a single person was seen throwing Molotov cocktails at the outside of the store, officials said.
The second similar incident was on Jan. 16 at the 7-Eleven on Dallas Drive in Temple Hills.
In the Jan. 16 attack, three men were reported throwing Molotov cocktails inside the store and at propane tanks sitting outside the store. They departed in a silver sedan, investigators said.
Two employees who were inside the store at the time were able to get out without being injured.
Crews arrived to find smoke and fire inside the building. They managed to put the fire out without incident. Property damage from that incident was estimated to be around $50,000.
“We are seeking assistance from the community in identifying and locating the persons responsible for these crimes,” Green said of the three arson attacks.
“The Office of the Fire Marshal has the lead in all three investigations and is working with the Prince George’s County Arson Task Force, a joint investigative unit with investigators from Prince George’s County Fire/EMS and Prince George’s County Police Departments,” according to a Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Facebook post.
Anyone with information on either of these cases is urged to contact the Prince George’s County Fire Investigations Division at 301-77ARSON (301-772-7766.) Tipsters can remain anonymous, and the call line is open 24 hours.
Below is an area where the fire occurred.
WTOP’s Zeke Hartner and Thomas Robertson contributed to this report.