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Long Beach arson suspect arrested


Suspicious fires at parking garages

A suspect was arrested this week in connection with a series of suspicious fires that occurred in various carports or parking garages in the downtown Long Beach area over the past two weeks.

The person's name was not released, with Long Beach fire officials saying the investigation was continuing. But Fire Chief Dennis Buchanan told reporters the person matched the description of a person seen on surveillance video that was made public earlier this week.

“For the past two weeks, we've had five vehicle fires in parking structures in the downtown area of the city of Long Beach,'' Buchanan said during an early afternoon news conference. “All these fires have been suspicious in origin.''

Details of the arrest were not released, so it was unclear where it occurred.

“This investigation is ongoing, so details will be limited to not compromise the integrity of this investigation,'' the chief said. “However, I want to stress the importance of the hard work from our Long Beach Fire Department arson investigators and the police department. Also, we are thankful for the community at large for their engagement and for the tips that they have provided to us.''

The series of suspicious fires began Aug. 20 and continued for the ensuing two weeks. Long Beach Fire Capt. Jake Heflin said the fires targeted five vehicles, two of which sustained extensive damage. Heflin noted that each of the fires were contained to the individual vehicles that were set ablaze.