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Cary Arrests Woman for Back-to-Back Vandalism

Post Date:12/28/2018 2:50 PM
  • Lisa Marie Burns, 57, of Cary was arrested on charges of property damage and ethnic intimidation following two separate incidents of vandalism on December 27.
  • She is being held at the Wake County Public Safety Center under a $2,000 secured bond.
  • Burns faces up to 120 days in jail for each of the four misdemeanor charges.


Cary, NC – A Cary woman has been arrested for vandalism she caused to a neighbor’s vehicles and the Congregation Sha’arie Shalom, 700 Old Apex Road last evening. Lisa Marie Burns, 57, is charged with one count of damage to personal property, a Class 2 misdemeanor; one count of damage to real property and two counts of ethnic intimidation, both Class 1 misdemeanors. Each Class 1 misdemeanor charge carries a penalty of up to 120 days in jail and the Class 2 charge carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail. She is being held at the Wake County Public Safety Center under a $2,000 secured bond.

On December 27 at 3:49 p.m., Cary police received a phone call from a citizen who reported his cars had been vandalized outside his home. Upon arrival, police found orange spray paint on Mohammed Khan’s Porsche and a busted headlight on his Mercedes. Around 6 p.m., Cary police received another vandalism call, with damage reported at the Cong. There police found two broken windows as well as similar orange spray paint on the sidewalks. Video from a ring doorbell camera showed Burns throwing bricks through the window of the temple. The investigation into both vandalism calls revealed the cases were linked, and Khan identified Burns as his neighbor. During interviews with the suspect, she admitted to both acts of vandalism and indicated her disdain for people of other religions and ethnic backgrounds.  

“While the vandalism Mrs. Burns committed did not immediately suggest a racial motive or ethnic intimidation, through our investigation it became clear that her actions were fueled by hate,” said Cpt. John Szymeczek of the Cary Police Department. “We hope this arrest helps ease the community’s concerns and demonstrates our commitment to swiftly finding and charging anyone that commits these types of acts.”

Due to the nature of the act, the Cary Police Department is working with its federal law enforcement partners to determine if any federal charges are appropriate.



*Media note – Now that an arrest has been made, the focus turns to the prosecution, which for Cary is led by the Wake County District Attorney’s Office. Therefore, this is the last update and official comment the Town of Cary plans to make on this case outside of court until the matter is completely resolved.


Primary Contacts

Cpt. John Szymeczek, Criminal Investigations Division, (919) 469-4017
Deanna Hawkes, Deputy Public Information Officer, (919) 380-4240


Related Links

Photo of Lisa Marie Burns

Cary Police Department

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