Arsonist Set 12 Fires in Chatsworth: Officials

A man was being sought in connection with fires that broke out in October in Chatsworth.

By Jason Kandel and Janet Kwak
|  Friday, Jan 4, 2013  |  Updated 9:14 AM PDT
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Police are hunting for a serial arsonist who's believed to have set at least 12 fires in the Chatsworth area. Most were started in trash dumpsters. Janet Kwak reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.

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Police are hunting for a serial arsonist who's believed to have set at least 12 fires in the Chatsworth area. Most were started in trash dumpsters. Janet Kwak reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.

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Arsonist Suspected in 12 Fires

Firefighters are hoping that someone will identify a man seen in a surveillance video lighting a fire behind a trash can in Chatsworth on Oct. 28. Janet Kwak reports for the NBC4 News at 9 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.
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Firefighters were seeking the public’s help on Sunday to identify a man believed responsible for lighting 12 fires over seven days in Chatsworth in October.

Investigators from the Los Angeles Fire Department Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section have released a 3 minute, 35 second surveillance video that captured a man lighting a fire behind a trash bin on Oct. 28 in what appears to be an alley off Devonshire Street.

In the video, a car with a sunroof can be seen driving into what appears to be an alley in front of a trash container.

A thin man wearing what appears to be a baseball cap gets out of the car and walks behind the trash can where he remains for more than a minute, briefly peeking around a corner before a bright light can be seen.

A second flash of light is seen before the man walks back to his car and gets in.

He backs up his car to maneuver it into a spot where he can see the fire behind the trash container before driving off as the fire glows behind the trash bin.

The blazes took place in Chatsworth over a seven-day period before dawn between Oct. 21 and Oct. 28. Eight of the fires occurred over a 43-minute span on Sunday, Oct. 21. The last four were set in just under an hour on Sunday, Oct. 28.

Jerry de Jesus, the owner of the restaurant Osaka, said he installed the surveillance camera recently to try to identify taggers who've been painting his fence out back.

"I accidentally saw this guy," he said of the arsonist. "I think he saw the sign, 'Smile You're on Camera,' and it didn't bother him, went and did his business anyway."

Anyone with information about the person seen in the video is asked to call the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section at (213) 893-9850.

Click here to see a map of the fires.


View West San Fernando Valley Arson Fires in a larger map

 

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