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Rewards offered in Long Beach serial arsons

December 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Federal investigators are now getting involved in an arson investigation in Long Beach. Twenty-two fires have been set in the past six months. One suspect is in custody. Authorities are looking for at least one more.

Long Beach fire and police departments are asking for help in finding an arson suspect. Investigators believe the suspect may be responsible for 22 fires in the central Long Beach area.

A fire was set at a marijuana collective on May 15. A second fire was deliberately set about a block away the next day.

"With the community's help, I'm confident it's only a matter of time before our team will crack this case and solve these arsons," said Long Beach Fire Deputy Chief Jeff Reeb.

Between May and the end of November, 22 fires have been deliberately set, according to Long Beach fire and police departments.

Police say they've arrested a 17-year-old male from Los Angeles in connection with two of the fires.

Investigators are not sure if they are going after one or more suspects in the other fires.

The Long Beach fire and police departments, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), are urging the public to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

"People who set fires, eventually, if they're setting a lot of fires, like to talk," said Long Beach Fire Captain Patrick Willis. "So for people who know maybe who did these fires, they need to come forward and give that information up."

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of minivan fires, and another $5,000 reward for information on two building fires.

If you have information related to the case, contact the Long Beach Fire Department Arson Hotline at (562) 570-2582.

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