Church arson caught by camera - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Church arson caught by camera

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

September 2, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - WALB now has dramatic surveillance video from the Albany Fire Dept. of the attempted fire bombing of an Albany Church over the weekend.

We now know it was two young women who threw a molotov cocktail into the daycare section of Sherwood Baptist Church early Saturday, and Investigators tonight ask your help identifying the two arsonists.

Just after midnight Saturday morning, two women walked up the driveway at the rear of Sherwood Baptist Church, one of them has a glass bottle filled with a flamable liquid and a wick in it. The other woman picks up a brick by the driveway, and throws it through the door leading into the daycare program at the Church.

From another camera inside, you can see the brick broke the door, but she comes back and makes a bigger opening in the door. Then the other woman lights the wick on the molotov cocktail, and throws it through the broken door.

Both women take off running as soon as the bottle is thrown. But the molotov cocktail did not explode, and there was almost no damage to the church besides the broken door and stained carpet. They were repaired Saturday.

Albany Fire Investigators are sure someone can identify these two women from this video. Investigator Sam Harris said, "The demeanor of the two ladies. The way they walk. The way they carry themselves. The shape of their faces. Their hair color."

The GBI and the Sheriff's Office is examining the molotov cocktail and the brick for fingerprints, and what the firebomb was made of, and are confident they have good evidence.

Sherwood Baptist Church held their services as normal Sunday, and the daycare is fully operational today. But church officials say they have no idea why the women threw a molotov cocktail in their church.

"Absolutely not,"  said Sherwood Executive Pastor Jim McBride. "We're saddened that they would do that to our church or to anybody for that matter. But we have no idea."

Investigators think the women are in their 20's,and had a grudge against the daycare, and want you to look at them together.

"These two ladies trust each other a great deal, and would be extremely close friends to be doing a crime of this magnitude together. And they should be able to recognize the ladies and let us know who they are, so that we can arrest them," Harris said.

Sherwood Officials prayed for the two women Sunday morning, but admit they keep security tight at their Church.

If you have any information about this arson, call the Albany Fire Department at 229-431-3262 or CRIME STOPPERS at 436-TIPS.

You could earn a reward up to one thousand dollars.

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