VAN NUYS (CNS) – A preliminary hearing is pending for a 61-year-old “convicted serial arsonist” jailed in lieu of $700,000 bail in Van Nuys on suspicion of setting 11 arson fires in the San Fernando Valley that targeted vehicles and trash containers.
Two counts of arson of a structure and 10 counts of arson of property were filed Tuesday, Aug. 27, against John Hasekian, four days after he was arrested, and a preliminary hearing, at which a judge would determine if there are grounds for trial, would take place in the next seven to 10 days, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The final fire was reported at 6:15 a.m. on Aug. 23 in a trash container outside 11365 Ventura Blvd., near Tujunga Avenue, in Studio City, the LAFD’s Nicholas Prange said. Ten other fires had been set in the general area beginning at about 4 a.m., the LAFD reported.
Investigators initially detained Hasekian as a “person of interest.”
“LAFD Arson/Counter Terrorism Section and LAPD worked together to uncover evidence and narrow in on one individual suspected of starting these fires,” Prange said.
“Arson K-9 named Blue detected accelerant while investigating these fires earlier. The person in custody is a previously convicted serial arsonist. We take intentional fire setting very seriously and are thankful no one was harmed by these malicious acts.”
No structures were damaged and no injuries were reported.