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Laurel police find truck, search for driver, involved in Islamic center damages

This white tractor-trailer was caught on surveillance video driving into the Islamic Community Center on Contee Road at 11 p.m. on Sept. 5. Laurel police are no longer calling this a hate crime after they discovered the truck was taken from a nearby business and returned.
This white tractor-trailer was caught on surveillance video driving into the Islamic Community Center on Contee Road at 11 p.m. on Sept. 5. Laurel police are no longer calling this a hate crime after they discovered the truck was taken from a nearby business and returned.(City of Laurel)

Laurel police say they have found the tractor-trailer caught on surveillance video as it backed into an awning and railing outside the Islamic Community Center in South Laurel earlier this month.

Police said the tractor-trailer was taken from a local business without permission and later returned.

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Laurel police had originally classified the Sept. 5 incident as vandalism, then changed the investigation to a hate crime based on information from the Council for American-Islamic Relations.

However, today Police Chief Richard McLaughlin in a released statement said the incident, which caused more than $10,000 damage to the building, was not a hate crime but likely an accident caused by a driver unfamiliar with the area.

Laurel officials are not releasing the name of the business where the truck originated.

The truck appears on the video around 11 p.m., apparently backing up twice into the Islamic Community Center on Contee Road before driving away.

Anyone with information about the driver should contact Laurel Police Department at 301-498-0092.

Baltimore Sun reporter Natalie Sherman contributed to this report.

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