Feds chasing fast-moving Hollywood arsonists

Patrik Jonsson
Christian Science Monitor
December 31, 2011

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has joined California fire investigators searching for arsonists torching cars at the height of arson season: New Year’s. More cars burned Saturday morning.

New Year’s is high time for serial arsonists, research shows, and Hollywood firefighters are seeing that phenomenon first hand as they chase potential copy-catters who continued to set cars ablaze Saturday morning.

Since Thursday, suspected arsonists have set at least 30 car fires in a compact area of densely-developed Hollywood and West Hollywood, including around the famed Laurel Canyon area, where a car parked in front of a home once occupied by the late Doors’ frontman Jim Morrison burned Friday morning, setting part of the home aflame.

Police say they have two people in custody, but the fire-setting continued Saturday morning.

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