Police distributed video Sunday of a man they say was seen near more than one of the fires in the recent arson spree of arson that has centered on cars in Hollywood and West Hollywood. The man, described as a white male in his late 20s to early 30s, about 5’8″ to 6’2″, with an unusual gait, receding hairline and shoulder-length ponytail, was observed on surveillance video on Hollywood Boulevard Dec. 30, just before a car fire was discovered in the parking structure beneath the Hollywood & Highland shopping center. He has been reported at other fire scenes as well, LAPD Commander Mike
Moriarty said a press conference tonight. Police want to hear from anyone who recognizes the man.
As the L.A. Times noted earlier today, police are being understandably cagey about what evidence they have. The number of arson fires and attempts in recent days tied together by evidence or the manner in which they were set totals more than 40, police said. Some 30 federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents are due to arrive in Los Angeles Monday to help with the investigation, CBS 2 is reporting.
From a new Facebook page started by the investigating agencies:
The Joint Task Force was formed between the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, and members of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to investigate the fires set throughout the Los Angeles area and to apprehend the suspect or suspects responsible for these heinous acts.
A combination of rewards in the sum of $60,000 are being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a person or persons responsible for these dangerous fires.
We are asking the public to assist. If you see a crime in progress, immediately dial 9-1-1. Anyone that may have information that may assist in these active investigations is asked to call (800) 222- TIPS (8477).
The L.A. arson spree makes the front page of tomorrow's New York Times.
WeHo Daily is live-tweeting fire-related news and chatter. For what it's worth, you can listen to some LAFD dispatch traffic and follow the #LAarson Twitter hashtag at the fire department's news blog. Note, of course, that the dispatch audio is raw, in jargon, and doesn't include all back channels, and primarily is not calls about the arson spree. And the Twitter feed is unofficial info and content from anyone anywhere in the world who chooses to use that hashtag.
LAPD wants to question man in arson fires probe (LAT)
LAPD Releases Video Of Person Of Interest In Rash Of Arsons (CBS 2)
Police seek person of interest in arson fires (ABC 7)