Los Angeles Arsonist Arrested

Harry Burkhart, a 24-year-old German man, was arrested January 2, 2012 for perpetrating a four-day arson spree in Hollywood and LA. He is the most-destructive arsonist in California history, linked to over fifty fires. These fires terrified local residents and cost the state of California $3 million.

The first question that arises with a crime like this is motive. According to the media, Burkhart was distraught over his mother’s impending deportation from America.

During his mother’s extradition hearing, Burkhart was overheard shouting anti-American slurs and was described as very angry and enraged by multiple witnesses. In addition, it has recently come out that he may suffer from a form of autism, which may have contributed to the rampage. The authorities however, refuse to comment on his motives, and many said the same thing: these violent acts are pathological in nature and that there may never be a logical motive.

However, there was an upside to these horrific events:  the Los Angeles County Sheriffs’, Fire, and Police Departments, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)  proved that they could cooperate and work together to keep the public safe.

Between a surveillance tape, witnesses from the extradition hearing, and a vigilant attorney who happened to be a part time Sheriff’s’ Deputy, Burkhart was quickly identified and apprehended.

Burkhart and his mother are now both in custody, the son without option of bail, and both have grim futures ahead of them. This is a clear victory for the LA Police and Fire Departments and all the organizations that helped in Burkhart’s arrest. In four days, they stopped a man who would have kept vandalizing California as long as he could. Through collaboration and teamwork, these organizations identified and arrested a suspect, put out the fires he started, and did it all without any serious civilian injuries.

— Will Bloomer, Staff Writer

Posted by on January 4, 2012. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry