'Carsonist' attacks rage on in LA

2012-01-03 09:15

LOS ANGELES, Californina - In 2011 we reported that an arsonist plagued Berlin by setting fire to more than 100 cars. The fire-crazed terrorist claimed to be upset by his financial situation so took out his frustrations on expensive cars.

Now LA is bearing the brunt of an arsonist whose firebug blitz torched nearly 40 vehicles and left many buildings damaged.

The arson began on December 29, 2011, and continued through New Year’s Eve. Some of the vehicles set ablaze were parked in apartment complexes, causing significant damage, threatening lives and provoking a state-wide search. Sheriff Lee Baca called the arsonist "the most dangerous in Los Angeles County that I can recall".

A man suspected of being the arsonist

The suspect, identified as German national Harry Burkhart, has been arrested and charged and is being held until he finds the equivalent of R2-million for bail. Police alleged he said: "I hate America" after his vehicle was pulled over by an alert rookie cop.

LA arsonist

CARS ABLAZE: The scorched remains of vehicles lie in an apartment complex in Los Angeles, California after an arson attack.

LA County Sheriff's Department's Captain Jamie Moore said he expected arson charges to be formally filed against the suspect.

A rookie deputy recognised the dark Dodge/Chrysler minivan with Canadian plates the suspect was driving as one wanted in connection with the fires. He made a traffic stop and a few dozen fellow officers swarmed.

Two fires were set West Hollywood early on January 1, 2012, not far from where Burkhart was stopped, reportedly with charcoal briquettes in his car.

When the fires first broke out two suspects were arrested though they have not been connected to Burkhart's alleged rampage.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Burkhart might have been angered over the deportation of a relative, reportedly his mother.