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Stranded pedestrian lights fires along Ojai roadway

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department was seeking an arson suspect Friday in the Ojai area.

September 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department was seeking an arson suspect Friday in the Ojai area.

Deputies responded to a call Wednesday at 8:42 p.m. of a domestic disturbance and arson.

Residents near the 5000 block of Casitas Pass Road called to report a couple in a parked car near Wiggy Ranch were arguing. The female driver drove away toward Carpinteria in a brown Toyota sedan and left the male passenger near the ranch's entrance.

That man then reportedly began walking westbound toward the Santa Barbara County line. According to the sheriff's department, further witnesses called to report the man had been starting small fires along the roadway.

The suspect was described as a male Caucasian in his 30s, standing about 6 feet tall, with blond or red hair, wearing a white T-shirt and dark shorts.

Sheriff's deputies, a K-9 unit, California Highway Patrol officers and a helicopter were called in to search for the suspect, who was last seen on the 7000 block of Gobernador Road.

The suspect was not found.

Firefighters doused the fires along the roadway. An arson investigator at the scene confirmed the fires were arson-related.

In the morning, sheriff's deputies continued the search for the suspect and additional evidence in the area.

The investigation remained open Friday.

Anyone with information related to the case should contact Ojai Valley Station detectives at (805) 646-1414.

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

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