Police Seek Man Who Vandalized, Set Fire at 7 La Verne Businesses

Police were seeking a man who was caught on surveillance video deliberately setting a grease container on fire at the back of a La Verne restaurant -- not long before he sat down in the same diner and ordered a steak.

The diner was one of the seven locations in the area that he targeted in the span of an hour, according to the La Verne Police Department.

The surveillance footage from Tuesday night shows a man wearing shorts stuffing a pair of pants into a grease container at the back of Mr. D's Diner on Foothill Boulevard. He lights the pants on fire and walks away.

Moments later, he's inside Mr. D's, wearing a black t-shirt inside-out and carrying a small knife in his hand -- he then sits down and orders a steak. After, he goes to the restroom while flames started shooting from out of the grease container.

Francis Pocius, an employee, called the police after a bus boy told her the man ripped a sign and light fixtures off the wall.

Minutes before police arrived, the man is seen walking out of the restroom, draggin his feet and scratching his head and wearing his t-shirt the correct way, with a distinctive panda logo on the front of it.

La Verne police discovered the man's knife and a meth pipe near the dumpster and believe he was under the influence.

The man was also caught on camera smashing statues and windows at Outdoor Elegance, an outdoor furniture business on Damien Avenue.

He is wanted on multiple counts of arson and vandalism, and was described as a 19 to 20-year-old man who is 5-foot-6, 145 pounds with black, wavy hair.

Anyone with additional information can contact Det. Matthew Haden at 909-596-1913.

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