SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department have arrested a suspect responsible for a series of arson related trash can fires that have transpired in the past 2 weeks. According to a press release Canyon News received form Lt. Saul Rodriguez of the SMPD, the incidents transpired on December 22, 2018, January 1, 2019 and January 3, 2019.
On Thursday, January 3, at about 5:20 p.m. officers responded to a radio call for service of a trash can fire in an alley of the 2800 block of Montana Avenue. Officials from the Santa Monica Fire Department arrived to the scene and extinguished the fire.
SMPD Detectives and SMFD Arson Investigators responded to the scene to conduct an investigation. During a preliminary investigation, information led to a possible suspect in the most recent incident, Joseph Brent Burchett, a 57-year-old male. On Thursday, at about 11:30 p.m., SMPD Officers located Burchett in the 1900 block of Arizona Avenue and took him into custody. SMPD Detectives are working to determine if there are any links to the previous incidents.
Burchett was booked for 451(d) PC – Arson and remains in custody at SMPD Jail with a bail option of $50,000. On Monday, January 7, the case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office-Airport Branch for filing consideration.
Anyone with details related to any of the incidents is asked to call the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491; Detective Cooper at (310) 458-8478; or Sergeant Skogh at (310) 458-8992