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Arson Suspect Caught
Posted On: January 9, 2014
Early Thursday morning January 8th at approximately 4:30 am, Whittier officers responded to a structure fire in the 7600 block of Washington Avenue. When officers arrived they found a Christmas tree on fire in a trash can which was near the garage. The garage subsequently caught fire while LA County Fire was responding. Officers went to the front of the residence to notify and evacuate any occupants. The residents said there was no one in the garage. LA County Fire was able to extinguish the flames upon arrival. Damage to the garage was extensive and no one was injured.
A few hours later, Whittier Officers received another report of someone attempting to light a Christmas tree on fire in a trash can, next to his residence, in the area of Greenleaf Avenue and Walnut Street at approximately 7:10 am. A witness saw what he described as a homeless looking, female, blond, in her 40's, lighting a Christmas tree with a lighter. The witness confronted the female and she left.
The description given by the witness matched one of the contacts officers had earlier at a local laundromat in the area and with whom officers have had numerous contacts. A search of the area by officers for this individual from the laundromat led to a female suspect matching the description in the area of Comstock Avenue and Wardman Street. The female suspect was detained and later identified by the witness. Sarah Kleiner (DOB 11-05-68) was arrested and booked into the Whittier Police Department Jail for PC 451-Arson and is being held on $75,000 bail. LA County Fire Arson Investigators will be handling the case.
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