LAPD arrests alleged serial arsonist in string of car fires in Sunland Tujunga area

KABC logo
Saturday, June 3, 2023
LAPD arrests suspect in string of Sunland-Tujunga car fires
The suspect is allegedly behind multiple car fires in the Sunland-Tujunga area from February to May of this year.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Police have arrested a man suspected of setting a series of car fires in the Sunland-Tujunga area earlier this year.

Guadalupe Resendiz, 37, was arrested Monday and booked on suspicion of arson, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

He was being held on $400,000 bail.

Although as many as 30 vehicle fires have been reported in the area since February of this year, so far investigators have linked the suspect to six blazes.

WATCH: Suspect lights truck on fire before fleeing

Video obtained by Eyewitness News shows the suspect on a bicycle as he lights a blue truck on fire and takes off.

After interviewing victims and collecting surveillance video, investigators were able to pull images of the suspect and distribute them on a flyer to patrol officers in the Sunland-Tujunga area. One officer recognized the image from a collision investigation a few days earlier and investigators were able to identify Resendiz as a driver in that incident and then linked him to the fires.

Even as investigators were looking into the earlier blazes, several more were reported in late May.

In fact, police say they caught the suspect right after he set off another blaze.

"In quick succession, he lit one car fire, took off and lit another car fire," said LAPD Det. Roger Allen. "And it was then at the second car fire that our officers, foothill patrol and our surveillance assets, were able to take him down, or arrest him."

Resendiz is also being held on parole violations. He served prison time for assault with a deadly weapon.

The District Attorney's Office has filed six arson charges, officials said.

READ PREVIOUS REPORT | Residents fear arsonist is behind string of suspicious car fires in Sunland-Tujunga area