LA arson fire suspect Harry Burkhart arrested

Harry Burkhart, the suspected arsonist behind more than 50 fires that burned up cars and apartment buildings across the Los Angeles area over New Year’s weekend, was arrested Tuesday morning.

Working off a tip from the State Department, a sheriff’s deputy pulled over Burkhart’s blue Dodge minivan in West Hollywood in the early morning hours. Upon searching the vehicle, police found “fire starting sticks.”

Burkhart, a 24 year old German national, went on an anti-American rant at his mother Dorothee’s recent immigration hearing. An official involved in the proceedings connected Burkhart to the blazes when he recognized the pony-tailed man from surveillance video taken at one of the crime scenes, which police made public Sunday night.

Burkhart continued disparaging his host country during his arrest, reportedly trading insulting hand gestures with witnesses and telling cops he hates America. Though he is a German national, police say he holds Chechen travel documents. It is unclear at this time if he acted alone or with the help of others.

Burkhart will appear in court on Wednesday to face charges. His bail has been set at $250,000.

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