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News Release

Friday, May 9, 2003

Media Relations

Arrest Made in The House of Worship Arson Task Force Investigation

"Arrest Made in The House of Worship Arson Task Force Investigation"

 

Who:
Mayor James Hahn, Los Angeles Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell, Los Angeles City Fire Department Chief William Bamattre, ATF Special Agent in Charge Donald Kincaid and FBI Special Agent TBA

What:
Information on Arson Investigation Arrest

When:
Friday, May 9, 2003, 6:00 p.m.

Where:
Los Angeles Police Headquarters Parker Center located at 150 N. Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles

On Tuesday, May 6, 2003, following a series of arson-related fires, all of which except one, targeted religious institutions in the Encino area of the San Fernando Valley, the "House of Worship Task Force" met to begin discussing these incidents. The LAPD Counter Terrorism Bureau, LAFD, ATF and FBI committed a significant number of resources toward the investigation and apprehension of the person(s) responsible for these arson fires.

During the course of the investigation, the task force developed information that resulted in focusing attention on a particular suspect. The task force then began monitoring the activities of this individual.

Early this morning, about 1:00 a.m., the suspect who was under surveillance, was observed by undercover personnel engaging in an arson-related criminal act (setting a trash can on fire) in the area of Glendon Avenue and Kinross Avenue in the Westwood Area.

The suspect, a 40 year-old male, from Los Angeles was arrested and booked for 451(d) of the California Penal Code (Felony Arson).

During the investigation there has been physical evidence acquired linking the suspect to one or more of the earlier arson fires at the places of worship.

The investigation is ongoing and the task force is working very closely with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

This media advisory was prepared by Public Information Director Mary Grady, Office of Public Information, 213-485-3205.



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