LAPD wants to question man in arson fires probe
Photo: A Mercedes-Benz was among the vehicles damaged by an arson fire late Saturday in Hollywood.
Credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu / For The Times
Los Angeles police on Sunday will release the description of a man wanted for questioning in connection with a string of fires over the last three days.
He is described as an older white male with a receding hairline and shoulder-length ponytail. His image was caught on a video that showed a car fire Saturday night inside the parking structure of the Hollywood & Highland Center on Hollywood Boulevard.
The LAPD plans to release more on the man Sunday afternoon.
The LAPD asks residents to leave porch and carport lights on at night and make sure cars are locked. Authorities also ask residents to immediately report anything suspicious by calling 911.
Officials said Sunday that they have connected at least 39 fires, the first of which started early Friday morning in Hollywood. Most of the fires have occurred in the Hollywood and West Hollywood areas. Early Saturday, nearly a dozen fires broke out in the northeast San Fernando Valley.
At a news conference Sunday morning, officials said many of the fires have been started in cars and in some cases spread to carports, garages and apartments. But they declined to say what evidence tied the cases together or to give more information about how the fires were set.
Law enforcement sources told The Times that detectives are concerned that releasing more information could prompt the arsonist or arsonists to change tactics and encourage copycats.
The sources said there was evidence connecting most of the fires. But investigators don’t want to say what kind of fuel or ignition device was used, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was still ongoing.