LOS ANGELES (AP) — A homeless man who is a convicted serial arsonist was arrested on suspicion of torching cars, trash and a dumpster Friday morning in Southern California's San Fernando Valley.
John Hasekian, 61, was arrested several hours after the string of 11 fires that were set between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. in trash bins and dumpsters along Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, fire officials said.
The small fires were quickly doused without damaging buildings, but one car caught fire and was gutted.
The fires posed a "significant threat to the community," Los Angeles fire Capt. Patrick Leonard told KTLA.
"One of them was next to a gas station, so we could have had explosions," Leonard said.
Arson investigators used video surveillance to help track down a suspect and detained Hasekian about two hours after the last fire, in the vicinity of one blaze, a Fire Department statement said.
Hasekian was being held with bail set at $51,000, and it's unclear whether he has an attorney.
He could face felony charges.
Hasekian was arrested in March for setting a string of eight fires and was later convicted of arson of property, a Fire Department statement said.
Records show he also has arrests over the past two years in Los Angeles and Orange counties for assault, theft and disturbing the peace by fighting.