Surveillance video caught a woman allegedly setting fire to a patio chair on the back deck of a nail salon in El Segundo, and police now believe she may be responsible for arson in at least seven fires within a few blocks of one another.
KTLA reported that the woman is between 55 and 65 years old, 5′ 4″ to 5′ 8″ tall, with dark-brown or black shoulder-length hair. Sgt. Hugo Perez of the El Segundo Police Department admitted that they were surprised that it was a woman setting the fires. “When we first started having these arsons, we thought that it was going to turn out to be some juveniles committing these crimes,” he acknowledged.
All of the fires were set in July and August, during the early morning hours, KTLA reported. The high risk crimes included two dumpster fires, a window frame that was set ablaze at a vacant building, two fires at local churches, and a small brush fire. Authorities are concerned that people could get hurt or worse: someone could die.
“These arsons are happening in areas where people are congregating… in residential areas of the community,” Perez said. According to statistics from the U.S. Fire administration, over 3,400 people died from fire in 2010.