German man arrested in rash of Los Angeles fires

By REUTERS
January 3, 2012 06:09

 
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LOS ANGELES - Police arrested a Hollywood man believed to be a German citizen on Monday in connection with a wave of 53 arson fires across Los Angeles that terrorized neighborhoods over the holiday weekend.

Harry Burkhart, 24, was taken into custody early on Monday morning after a reserve sheriff's deputy spotted him driving a van similar to one being sought after a string of fires set in Los Angeles, Hollywood and surrounding communities.

Authorities booked Burkhart, a Hollywood resident who they believe to be a German national, on suspicion of arson and said he was being held at Los Angeles County jail.

"Our long, four-day nightmare is over," Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said at a Monday evening press conference.

"This has been literally a nightmare for people who live on the west side of L.A., the San Fernando Valley and West Hollywood," Yaroslavsky said. "I live in that community and I haven't had a good night's sleep since last week. I'm looking forward to that tonight."

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