Serial Arsonist Suspect Arrested by South Pasadena Police

PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | News | SPPD Police Chief Joe Ortiz

A man attempting to start a brush fire near the 300 block of San Pascual Ave. was arrested early Sunday morning by South Pasadena Police. An alert citizen phoned police about the suspect at 1:00 am.

Moments after the arrest, police said they began receiving reports of additional fires between the 300 and 500 blocks of Arroyo Drive. The flames were quickly extinguished by emergency crews.

Police arrested Jesus Vargas, 34, of Los Angeles at the scene. Several items of “evidentiary value” were also collected, police said.

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The flames destroyed some vegetation, but the quick response of the Fire Department prevented any significant threat to homes, the Department added.

South Pasadena Police are asking anyone with information about the events to contact them at 626-403-7270 or San Marino Fire Department Investigator Jason Sutliff at 626-300-0735.

PHOTO: Steven Lawrence | News | South Pasadena Police Department

Ben Tansey is a journalist and author. He grew up in the South Bay and is a graduate of Evergreen State College. He worked in Washington State as a reporter in a rural timber community and for many years as an editor for a Western electric energy policy publication based in Seattle. He and his wife Karin, an arts administrator from El Sereno, live in South Pasadena.