Investigators Friday were trying to determine if a 57-year-old man arrested on suspicion of arson for allegedly setting a trash can fire in Santa Monica may be connected to a series of similar blazes.
Joseph Brent Burchett was arrested about 11:30 p.m. Thursday in the 1900 block of Arizona Avenue and booked on suspicion of arson. He remains jailed in lieu of $50,000, according to Santa Monica Police Department Lt. Saul Rodriguez.
He was apprehended after a trash can fire was reported about 5:20 p.m. Thursday in an alley in the 2800 block of Montana Avenue, Rodriguez said.
Similar blazes had been set since Dec. 22, according to the lieutenant.
In the course of investigating Thursday's fire, detectives and fire department arson investigators zeroed in on Burchett and "are working to determine if there are any links to the previous incidents,'' Rodriguez said.
Police plan to present their case to the district attorney's office on Monday.
Anyone with information about Burchett or the fires was urged to call police at (310) 458-8491, Detective Cooper at (310) 458-847 or Sergeant Skogh at (310) 458-8992.