UPDATED 8:30p: The LAPD released a security video of someone they call a “person of interest” in the rash of arsons hitting West Hollywood, Hollywood, North Hollywood and other LA areas since Thursday, according to KCBS Channel 2 News, which has also posted the video.
FrontiersLA also has the video. Please spread the word so we can stop having night after night of arson terrorism.
A burly man, about 5’8″ to 6’2″, walking with a noticeable limp is shown walking down Hollywood Boulevard at the time several of the fires were set. The man, police say, also has dark hair, a receding hairline and a ponytail.
PLEASE NOTE: this man is a “person of interest” which does not automatically mean this is the guy. However, police need to talk with him. If you see this person – or anyone acting suspiciously or any suspicious device under a car – please call 911 immediately.
Earlier authorities said they also believed the suspect drive this kind of car:
Edward Lawrence, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, said the man is said to be walking calmly with his hands never leaving his pockets.
The video was shot in Hollywood at the intersection of Sycamore and Orange. Authorities at the news conference said their person of interest has been seen at several of the locations where fires were started and there are additional videos that are not being released that makes them interested in locating this person.
Lawrence also reported that the federal government is now actively involved in the investigation. A task force of 30 Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm (ATF) agents are now joining the LAPD and LAFD in the hopes of catching the arsonist or arsonists.
Meanwhile – at an earlier news conference, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said residents should keep their porch, carport and garage lights on at night and report suspicious activity to help contain the fires.
UPDATE 8:30pm – Five agencies just launched “Arson Watch LA:”
On Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/ArsonWatchLA
On Twitter: @ArsonWatchLA – https://twitter.com/#!/ArsonWatchLA
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).
Your Firefighters and Law Enforcement Officers are urging the community to remain vigilant.
Precautionary measures can be taken by:
Leaving on porch lights and the lights around your carports.
Insure your vehicles are locked.
Insure your smoke alarms work.
Have a family emergency plan and discuss it with your family.
Get to know your neighbors.
Report any suspicious activity and finally,
“If you see something, say something”.
For full details, view this message on the web.