Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Alleged West L.A. burglar suspected in Hollywood temple fire [Updated]

April 20, 2011 |  8:36 am

Los Angeles police have arrested a man in a West Los Angeles burglary who they believe is responsible for a fire and burglary at a prominent Hollywood synagogue.

Dmitriy Sheyko, 21, a transient known to frequent the Hollywood area, is suspected of breaking into Temple Israel in the 7300 block of Hollywood Boulevard on April 14 and a nearby grocery store.

Sheyko, who police said has a criminal record, was arrested Monday in connection with a burglary in West Los Angeles.

"We were able to link him through physical evidence to the burglary and fire at Temple Israel and another burglary at the Fresh and Easy in Hollywood," said Lt. Michael Oreb.

In the synagogue case, LAPD investigators say Sheyko placed several items, including a pine cone and animal skin, on a desk in the building and set them on fire with a candle. He also allegedly scorched a couch inside.

Detectives said they did not believe the incident was a hate crime.

But it led to a heavy law enforcement response at the temple, which includes a school, out of what LAPD officials described as an abundance of caution. It came just days after an explosive device was detonated at a Santa Monica synagogue.

Ron Hirsch, 60, who was wanted in connection with the Santa Monica Chabad House explosion, was apprehended in Ohio after allegedly fleeing California.

[Updated, 2:47 p.m.: Prosecutors charged Sheyko on Wednesday with 19 felony counts, including burglary, arson and use of a destructive device.

He is accused of breaking into several structures, including Temple Israel of Hollywood, and setting fires in all but one location.

He also is accused of burglarizing and setting fire to several residences from Thursday to Sunday in the exclusive gated community of Beverly Ridge Terrace off Coldwater Canyon Boulevard in Los Angeles.  Molotov cocktails were used at two of the homes, and a flatbed truck was destroyed.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in state prison.]


Security video shows man suspected of setting fire inside Hollywood temple

Crime alerts for Hollywood Hills West, Broadway-Manchester and eight other L.A. neighborhoods

-- Andrew Blankstein