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Long Beach police arrest suspect in 18 arson fires

April 20, 2011 |  8:32 pm

Long Beach police have arrested a man suspected of setting 18 fires over the weekend, including two in homes with people inside.

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

The 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.

Thomas was arrested after an officer spotted him walking down the street and remembered seeing him near the area of 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 cooperating with the ongoing investigation. 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 to www.longbeach.gov/police.

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