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Arson investigators search Sunset Boulevard home, source says

January 2, 2012 | 11:17 pm

Arson investigators search Sunset Boulevard home, source says

Police searched a Sunset Boulevard home Monday evening in connection with the string of arson fires around Los Angeles, according to a senior law enforcement source.

The search occurred shortly after 6 p.m. as Police Chief Charlie Beck, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other officials held a news conference announcing an arrest in the case.

Witnesses said the search took place in the 7200 block of West Sunset Boulevard in a second-story apartment above a hair salon and optical shop where the suspect, Harry Burkhart, is believed to have lived. Pieces of yellow police tape remained outside the building late Monday. 

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Shlomo Elady, a 44-year-old hairstylist, works on the first floor of the building at Le Figaro Hairstyling. He said he has cut Burkhart's hair for more than a year and that he saw Burkhart leave the building each morning and return late at night. He did not know if he had a job.

"I cut his hair just a week and a half ago," Elady said. "I'm in shock. He’s my client. I never saw any sign of trouble."


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Photo: A police cruiser diverts traffic along Sunset Blvd. after law enforcement officials detained Harry Burkhart early Monday morning. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times