WEST HILLS (CNS) — Police arrested a man suspected of posing as a fire inspector and entering a West Hills residence shortly after fire crews extinguished a vegetation fire nearby.
Officers were called to the 7700 block of Graystone Drive at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, to investigate a report that a man claiming to be a fire inspector had entered a residence and told everyone to evacuate, said Officer Tony Im of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section.
One or more of the residents sensed something suspicious, as the man did not have a uniform, badge or identification, and called the police, Im said. When police arrived and confronted the suspect, he took off running, Im said.
Officers set up a perimeter and conducted a search before taking the suspect into custody, he added.
The suspect, described as a 20-year-old white man wearing a white doctor’s mask over his face, was arrested and charged on suspicion of burglary, Im said.
It is unknown if any property was taken.
Just 30 minutes before the incident, fire crews were dispatched to Bell Canyon Road and Overland Drive in West Hills on a report of a fire, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Fire crews from Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and the city of Los Angeles were able to put out the half-acre vegetation fire in 24 minutes, Humphrey said.
No injuries were reported and no structures were damaged from the fire.