SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department that on Monday, September 26, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office filed seven counts of Arson against John Dean Thomason, a 51-year-old homeless male.

Detectives were assigned to investigate several recent arson incidents. Detectives reviewed the reports, evidence, and several hours of video surveillance footage and were able to link Thomason to at least seven separate incidents. On September 25, while working patrol, the detective assigned to investigate these arsons, located Thomason in the 1200 block of Euclid and arrested him on the following cases:

  • 08/27/22 at 5:30 PM – Fire set behind 1227 4th Street (St. Augustine Church)
  • 08/27/22 at 5:33 PM – Fire set behind 1245 4th Street (St. Peter Coptic Church)
  • 08/27/22 at 5:39 PM – Fire set behind 1338 5th Street (Dog PPL)
  • 09/01/22 at 12:32 PM – Fire set behind 1630 12th Street (Radical Media)
  • 09/01/22 at 12:33 PM – Fire set behind 1652 12th Street (Caliber Collision)
  • 09/02/22 at 10:47 AM – Fire set behind 1547 6th Street
  • 09/02/22 at 10:55 AM – Fire set behind 1530 5th Street (Silvercrest Senior Citizen Apt)

The case was submitted to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Bureau of Specialized Prosecution Arson and Explosives Target Crimes Division. The DA’s office filled all 7 counts against Thomason, who the SMPD indicated is homeless. Lt. Rudy Flores of the SMPD informed Canyon News that Thomason has a prior criminal record for misdemeanor crimes and burglary.

“7 dumpsters were damaged due to the fires.  The cost of replacing each dumpster is approximately $1,000.

Thankfully, the fires were contained in the dumpsters and not allowed to spread to the adjoining buildings. This was due to the quick response of the Santa Monica Fire Department and their aggressive targeted fire suppression.

Even though the fires did not cause a lot of physical damage, these incidents were of top priority to the Police and Fire Departments.   Arson is a very serious crime which has the potential not only to cause great financial loss, but also places the public at great risk of injury and death,” said Detective Hector Tavera of the SMPD.

Anyone with additional details pertaining to the suspect is asked to contact Detective Hector Tavera at 310-458-8946 or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8426.