Person of Interest Arrested in Los Angeles Arson Attacks
UPDATED: The LAPD has captured a man suspected of 55 fires that have been started since Thursday.
After working round the clock to chase an arsonist on a four-night tear throughout Los Angeles County, police have arrested a person of interest in connection with the attacks.
LAPD detained their suspect for questioning after 11 more suspicious car fires surfaced on Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported. Not much is known about the subject: he was arrested while driving a mini-van with Canadian license plates, and, according to The Times' sources, he is a native of Germany who appeared to be fighting the U.S. government over a relative's immigration status. Inside the mini-van: materials that could be used to set fires.
The name of the suspect has not yet been released. Officials say he will be booked Monday afternoon. The LAPD will hold a press conference at 6:15 p.m. with more details.
Monday's blazes began around 1:30 a.m., mainly to cars and carports in apartment buildings, police and fire officials told The Times. The outbreak has totaled 55 blazes since Friday, wreaking havoc from Hollywood to Studio City to Laurel Canyon to the former residence of Jim Morrison. Following the arrest, TMZ shot video footage of a man sitting in a police car and sporting a ponytail.
He matches the description of a person of interest sought by the LAPD, which released surveillance footage in a joint news conference with fire officials on Sunday afternoon showing a white male between 20 and 30 years old with a receding hairline -- and a ponytail. The video was caught at the Hollywood and Highland entertainment complex, home to the Academy Awards venue Kodak Theatre, where a car caught fire on New Year's Eve.
Witnesses also confirmed the man at several other locations where blazes broke out Saturday night.
LAPD spokesman Eric Preciado told THR that the department is hoping to arrange a press conference for Monday. An announcement is expected later in the day. He did not release further details on the arrest.
There have been no civilian injuries so far but authorities advised L.A. County residents to leave porch and garage lights on at night and to lock their cars.