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LA arson fires: 'Person of interest' in custody

LA arson fires now total 55. But Los Angeles police say they have a 'person of interest' in custody. Is he the LA arsonist?


Firefighters try to put out an apartment fire that started from one of the 12 new carport fires set by an arsonist early Monday morning, in West Hollywood, Calif. on Jan. 2, 2012.

REUTERS/Gene Blevins

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 Los Angeles police have detained a "person of interest" in a series of 55 arson attacks on dozens of cars in the Los Angeles area.

Police say it is too early to say whether the unidentified "person of interest" is the same man shown on a video distributed Sunday.

Authorities distributed video at a news conference from a security camera that showed a white male in his late 20s to early 30s, dressed in black, with receding hair held in a ponytail. The Los Angeles Times reported that the man detained Monday was driving a blue minivan with Canadian license plates.

Los Angeles Police Commander Mike Moriarty said witness reports and video footage placed the man at several of the locations where fires were started.

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Fire officials reported eight arson fires on New Year's Eve and early on Sunday and Monday, including five in Los Angeles, two in West Hollywood and another in nearby Burbank, bringing the number of suspicious blazes since Thursday in those areas to 55.


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