Sherman Oaks News
Suspected Arsonist In Custody
By Melissa Simon
Oct 1, 2013 - 4:24:20 PM

SHERMAN OAKS—Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers arrested a man on Friday, September 27, on suspicion of setting a series of fires along Ventura Boulevard.


“There were different descriptions that were put out, and part of our job ultimately at the end of the evening was to try and put that information together, which we believe we did,” said David Liske, Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Arson Investigator. He added that arson reports stopped after taking the man into custody.


Person of interest being taken into custody. Photo courtesy: Cal Fire News
The suspect, a man in his 50s, was taken into custody near the intersection of Katherine Avenue and Moorpark Street, according to authorities.


“The fire activity stopped, whether that’s coincidental or not,” Liske said. “Right now, this is the best information that we have to work with so we’ll start with that and see where we end up,” he added.


The rubbish fires were set between 8:15 p.m. and 9:32 p.m. on September 25 between the 13100 and 13900 blocks of Ventura Boulevard, according to authorities.


One of the fires was started behind a strip mall and took a crew of 35 firefighters 17 minutes to extinguish. Most of the damage occurred on the exterior of the two buildings, according to Katherine Main, a spokeswoman for the LAFD. Main said preliminary damages are estimated at $20,000.


The suspect taken into custody had an unrelated outstanding felony arrest warrant and has been identified as a person of interest in the arson case.


“We will work to confirm anybody’s involvement or eliminate their involvement,” Liske said. “We will go with the truth and where the information takes,” he added. No injuries were reported as a result of any of the fires. The suspect, who has not been identified, has not yet been charged with any crimes related to the fires.


The incident is still under investigation and anyone with information has been asked to call the LAFD’s Arson/Counter-Terrorism Unit at 213-893-9850.

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