Hollywood Arsonist

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DPD1

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Wed night they had a guy do about three fires in WeHo/Hollywood area, but they thought they caught him. Now Thurs night/Fri morning, they've been chasing some nut doing fires all over the same area. MO is that he lights cars in a carport on fire and splits. So far County, City and Bev Hills have been handling.
 

DPD1

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Crazy... I didn't realize it was that many. They must have started dispatching directly from the incident center at some point.
 

karldotcom

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There have already been 2 fires tonight in Hollywood. I think the 3 day total is now 37?

If you want to listen, I am sure the LAFD live feed will work. Tac 14 seems to be the Command Post / Hollywood IC

LAPD is on Citywide Tactical Alert, and other agencies such as Burbank and Glendale are fully mobilized due to DUI enforcement activities.

for more information

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/12/police-brace-for-more-la-arson-fires-on-new-years-eve-night.html

http://burbanknbeyond.com/12/sections/policefire/suspicious-burbank-fires-under-investigation/

http://www.dailynews.com/ci_19649142?source=most_viewed

http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?feedId=2846 LAFD Live Feed
 
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DPD1

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I don't think it was as bad as the other two nights. The second night they were doing about one per 15 minutes in the valley mainly. I think now there's probably some copy cats. It's like that one year where there were all the freeway shootings. People are crazy.
 

DPD1

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Still going. Just had one on Laurel Cyn. Think it was just down the street from the one they did the other night. With all the cameras around these days, kind of hard to believe they don't have any solid leads by now.
 

DPD1

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Well, now he's in my hood... He made his way over the canyon and has now done three fires around me in just 40 minutes. They're going all out to get this guy and I observed some very interesting tactics. I'll post about it when it's all over.
 

karldotcom

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I listened from about 2am - 4am and heard a lot of the Sherman Oaks, Studio City fires, then into West Hollywood.

It was some of the most intense scanning I have ever listed to....and I remember the Rodney King riots, OJ Simpson chase, Northridge Earthquake. Those LAFD dispatchers were on the ball.....

Also, old LAPD VHF Tac 3 lit up with some users.... more on that later....

So many frequencies were in use...Metro, Anti Terror Division, Admin, 3 air units, mobile field forces, it was hard to try to fall back asleep
 

Radio_Lady

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Will be interesting to hear more from you guys!
If you haven't already done so, give a listen to the LAFD feed Archives for last night,
2012-01-02 for the time period between about 01:20 and 03:00

It would be the 0115-0145, 0144-0215, 0214-0244 and 0244-0314 segments.

If you're on the SoCalScan Yahoogroup, one of the posters kept up a running call-by-call record of the incidents.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/socalscan/messages/67808?xm=1&m=e&l=1 (sign-up required, I think).

I couldn't agree more with "karldotcom" about the intesnity of the radio traffic, and I've been literally in the middle of some pretty intense radio traffic over 30+ years. I didn't have LAPD on for most of it (BTDT), but listening to the way LAFD essentially re-wrote their playbook to cope with this situation was both inspiring and, for want of a better word, magnificent. They were "good" listening the previous two nights, but really showed their stuff last night.

I posted the following to SoCalScan as it was starting to wind down

"LAFD is hitting these calls hard & fast with full responses, and
they're likewise freeing up the companies and tac and command
frequencies just as quickly as they can. BCs are also turning command
over to on-scene companies ASAP so they can make themselves available.
Adapting well as they always do in unusual circumstances."​

22 hours later I see that I sounded a little milquetoast, but if you can hear the recordings you'll catch my drift.
 

DPD1

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So... I heard the call go out for the one starting on Laurel Cyn. on the last night. I knew by the address it was on the basin side, right there north of Sunset. I guess he did another one farther up in the hills after that, but I missed hearing that one. Next thing I know, about 15 minutes later, I hear fire engines and helicopters... He had come over through the canyon and done one right down the street from me. This started about 1 1/2 hour of total chaos, from about 1:45am on, where I think he did about 10 fires in something like 45 minutes in this area. I could see out onto the main street from above and I could see the smoke from the first one. One LAPD copter was joined by a second. I had seen the first fire trucks go by, then more after he went on to the second and third fires, less than a mile or so away from the first. But what was weird at the time, was that I kept thinking to myself... 'Wow, there's a lot of cars driving around for this time of night'. This is when it started to get surreal... One or groups of two LAPD patrols started continually racing up and down the street periodically, with their side spots on. They looked into all the corners between structures and stuff, and were also shining the spots into the cars of anybody they happen to come across. Then every once in a while they'd go flying off to someplace else, like they had gotten a call to try some other spot. I only kept the radio on fire, because I just wanted to hear where the fires were. After a while, I started thinking I was crazy, because I kept thinking the civilian cars I saw driving by were the same cars. Then about 8 cars all sort of pulled together at the corner, like they were all talking. Then it dawned on me... They were all undercover cars. The next fire went off just to the north on the radio, and all those cars instantly went flying up the street that way in a row. Then about 6 more came out from other streets and went speeding off behind the first group. I'm not going to describe the vehicles, because I don't know if they are part of the PD's fleet or not... But many of them were very creative. You would never guess what they were. I believe guys in a couple looked to have turnouts on.

So the fires kept going, and I could watch the copters move from one spot to the next as they went off. The whole thing was very bizarre. Periodically the patrols kept coming around, and also a few of the regular cars would slowly cruise through, which looked to be more undercovers that sort of lagged behind, trying to get lucky. One in particular looked sort of like one of the cars they had mentioned as being a potential suspect car a few days earlier, and I actually started to get worried, because I thought... OK, if this guy is the actual guy and lights a fire, I'm going to feel really stupid. But the new fires started going off to the west. While all that was happening, you could pretty much constantly hear the sirens from the fire trucks off in the distance through the whole thing. Eventually it calmed down and then I started hearing the LASD talking about a perimeter back over in WeHo, and that turned out to be them catching him. I think it was just a basic traffic stop, after all that.

But how this guy evaded so many people and aircraft for so long, I have no idea. He definitely has some major ninja skills.
 

karldotcom

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I had stayed up until 1am that night, listening for activity...then went to bed with ScanRecord running. For some reason I got back up at 2am and check Twitter (the #LAArson hashtag) and it was going crazy. The fires up in the hills and Sherman Oaks had started. I turned on my three scanners (Pro-2006, BC796D and BC396T) on and the frequencies were hopping. LAFD was dispatching on Valley 8, with Structure 9, a tac channel, then Hollywood IC and another admin channel being active. LAPD was all over the place, with all the fires being simulcast dispatched on Van Nuys, N Hollywood, West Valley, the Traffic Division, then there were units on Metro, the Phone channel the helicopters use for chitchat now, Anti Terrorist Division (in the clear) plus the Citywide tac they had set up as a "Captains Channel" (all the Divisions were monitoring one channel, and all fires and arson calls were simulcast to that, along with updates from Hollywood IC) It was a giant ball of confusions, with all kinds of different suspect descriptions, LAPD units evacuating apartment buildings, etc. There was also mention of Mobile Field Forces.....perhaps the MFF was in the plain civilian cars?? They were staged at Hollywood Bowl.

After the last fire set in the Valley near Mulholland, I heard some sort of units come up on old VHF Tac 3....it sounded like there were several surveillance points up on Mulholland. It sounded like Analog Simplex....so for me to have received them, they were high up.

I figured the suspect would head back toward West Hollywood, so I tuned into that locale next, and sure enough, a parking garage fire broke out, then a carport, and another smoke scare.

There blue minivan was pulled over for speeding through West Hollywood...and LAPD backed pretty quickly....there is a report that the LASD officer couldnt contact base with his car radio.... As the suspect was pulled over, there was a report of a female witness who observed him light the fire in the parking garage.

Here is an edited down (for time and other calls) version of what I caught on LAFD http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85bMFirowLY
and LACFD http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC3MEObbPnY&feature=related
 
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DPD1

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If it's true that he was pulled over almost by accident, that's pretty amazing... considering how many people were looking for him. It's not like he was trying very hard to keep from getting caught. It was actually almost like he wanted to get caught. It's sort of disturbing to see just how much trouble one person can cause. Luckily, it would appear that he didn't have a radio found with him... Which was something that I was dreading.
 

karldotcom

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I guess he knew the gig was up when his photo went on the news?

I kept expecting whoever it was to lay low a couple days.....actually, I thought it was some type of crew.

I had to drive down Sunset today and his apt is right next to several of the first fire locations.....he could have walked.
 
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