Southern California -- this just in

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

Security video shows man suspected of setting fire inside Hollywood temple

April 15, 2011 |  6:41 am

Arson L.A. fire officials released video they said shows a man who allegedly set a fire inside a prominent Hollywood temple on Thursday.

Police say a man believed to be in his late 20s broke into the temple, collected several items, placed them on a desk and set them on fire using a candle.

The suspect fled the scene, but his image was captured on the security video. He is believed to be a transient who frequents the area.

The fire did minor damage to the facility.

Police are not sure of the motive for the fire and are trying to determine whether anything was taken from the temple.

Television news helicopters showed several uniformed and plainclothes law enforcement personnel at Temple Israel of Hollywood in the 7300 block of Hollywood Boulevard.

"Because it is a house of worship, we're taking every precaution to be sure we know we are not underplaying the situation," said LAPD Capt. Beatrice Girmala.

Any disturbance at a synagogue was likely to draw a quick and large response after the explosive device that was detonated last week at a Santa Monica synagogue.

Ron Hirsch, 60, who was wanted in connection with that explosion at the Santa Monica Chabad House, was apprehended this week in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, after fleeing, authorities said.


Hot weather returns: 100 at Coachella music festival, 90s in valleys

Crime alerts for Sylmar, Harvard Heights and seven other L.A. neighborhoods

-- Andrew Blankstein and Joel Rubin