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Crime

Harry Burkhart, Alleged L.A. Arsonist, Suspected of Burning Down German Home in October

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Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 12:36 PM

click to enlarge Burkhart. - ON SCENE TV / CBS / AP
  • On Scene TV / CBS / AP
  • Burkhart.
L.A. arson fire suspect Harry Burkhart might have had some previous experience sparking blazes, at least according to allegations made public in the German media today.

The German network PNN says authorities in that country suspect that Burkhart burned down his family's home in the town of Schwalm-Eder-Kreis in October.

According to court records obtained by the Weekly and other media (linked here) ...

... that's the month that Burkhart's mother, Dorothee, flew to Las Vegas from Frankfurt and then "went with her son to the German consulate in Los Angeles, California on October 26, 2011 to renew her son's passport."

click to enlarge A photo from a massage ad with Dorothee Burkhart's phone number.
  • A photo from a massage ad with Dorothee Burkhart's phone number.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Oct. 20th date of Dorothee's trip to Vegas is also the date on which her son entered the U.S.

German authorities told PNN the home was abandoned when it burned and that the family filed an insurance claim following the blaze.

The Times says the fire happened Oct. 14.

We tried to reach the German Consulate in Los Angeles and Washington for comment but were so far unsuccessful.

The younger Burkhart, 24-year-old Harry, is suspected in a three-day, 53-fire arson spree that mainly targeted cars under apartment carports in Hollywood, West Hollywood and parts of the southern and San Fernando Valley such as North Hollywood.

He was captured on the last night of the spree, early Monday, after a sheriff's deputy spotted a Dodge minivan with Canadian plates fitting the description of one wanted in connection with the blazes.

Government officials put out a be-on-the-lookout alert for the younger Burkhart after recalling that he had made a ruckus in court during a recent extradition proceeding for his mother. He indicated hatred for America and fit the images of a possible arsonist caught on security video following a Saturday blaze in the Hollywood+Highland shopping garage, authorities said.

Dorothee Burkhart is wanted by German authorities for fraud -- mainly for renting places to people and allegedly keeping their security deposits. But the federal complaint filed against her at the behest of German authorities also accuses her of skipping out on a breast augmentation bill.

To top that off, we found that the elder Burkhart is listed as as the registered owner of an erotic massage website with a phone number that leads to several other adult services ads. The 24-year-old arson suspect is said to have lived with his mom in a Hollywood apartment.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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