LA Weekly Newspaper Helps Solve String of Arson Fires

Comments (0)


Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 7:00 AM

Los Angeles Fire Department arson investigators were perplexed by a rash of arson fires around the neighborhood of Los Feliz in early June. The dozen or so rubbish fires were started in trashcans near bus shelters and were put out immediately by city firefighters.

Investigators caught a break later that month after a fire chief driving around Los Feliz for clues happened upon a rubbish fire slowly burning in a trashcan near Louise’s Trattoria on Los Feliz Boulevard. The culprit was nowhere to be found. However, a witness saw a man wearing a Hawaiian shirt with a copy of the LA Weekly sticking out of his back pocket leaving the scene.

Shortly thereafter, arson investigator John Little found the alleged arsonist strolling down the street. The suspect was carrying a ripped out section of the Weekly (June 20-26, 2008 edition) in his back pocket. Later, Little said he found a “time delayed device” wrapped in burnt pieces of Weekly newspaper in the trashcan. He also found a lighter in the suspect’s pocket.

“It was a real CSI type thing,” says Little. “We recovered newspaper out of the trash container and opened it up and saw a matchbook device. The section that was ripped out matched the papers in his back pocket… He would set the newspaper down there and go across the street and watch.”

Dale Joseph Dreyer, 64, was arrested and charged with one count of arson. His next court date is scheduled for October 7.

And to think I believed copies of the newspaper flew off the racks because our readers couldn’t get enough of our Calendar section. Guess again!

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Justin Bieber Takes Over Notorious L.A. Party House

    This party house has already been the target of neighbors' complaints, so we wonder how things will go with Justin Bieber reportedly renting the place. See also: Weidlake Party House Gets MTV Show Despite Neighbors' Complaints The Weidlake residence in the Hollywood Hills has been the site of parties, porn shoots...
  • War Machine Pulled a Knife on Christy Mack, Sexually Assaulted Her, Cops Say

    There's way more to the story of mixed martial artist Jonathan "War Machine" Koppenhaver's alleged attack on porn star Christine "Christy Mack" Mackinday and her male companion earlier this month. Police say in their arrest warrant request for the fighter, who was captured Friday at a Simi Valley hotel, that victim...
  • BuzzFeed Aims at Latino Audience With L.A. Hires

    For decades, journalism groups have pressured news outlets to hire more minorities, particularly Latinos in Southern California. The idea, says the American Society of News Editors, "is to have the percentage of minorities working in newsrooms nationwide reflect the percentage of minorities in the nation's population by 2025."  The results...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets