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Suspect in Long Beach serial arsons arrested; two fires were set in homes as people slept, authorities say

April 21, 2011 |  8:07 am

A man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of setting a series of fires in the Long Beach area, authorities said.

Eighteen blazes were set in vehicles, homes, sheds and trash bins. In two cases, the arsonist broke into homes where people were sleeping and set fires, according to a police statement. No one was injured in any of the fires.

Joshua Thomas, 25, of Long Beach was arrested on suspicion of multiple acts of arson and burglary. He is being held on $1.5-million bail.

Thomas was arrested after an officer spotted him walking down the street and remembered seeing him near one of the first fires. After being questioned first by the officer and then more extensively by Long Beach Fire Department arson investigators, he was arrested.

Police said Thomas has been cooperative. Officials asked anyone with information on the case to call the Fire Department’s arson hotline at (562) 570-2582. Anonymous tips can be submitted via text or email via the Long Beach Police Department website.

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--Abby Sewell

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