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German arson suspect arrested in Los Angeles

The Local · 3 Jan 2012, 09:00

Published: 03 Jan 2012 09:00 GMT+01:00

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The man, named Harry Burkhart, was stopped by police on Sunset Boulevard because he fit a description of a wanted person. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, he told police he was from Frankfurt and had been living in southern California for several years.

The series of arson attacks began on Friday evening, in Hollywood, West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley. Some buildings have also been damaged in the fires. The LA Fire Department says there have been no further attacks since Burkhart’s arrest.

“We seem to have caught a serial arsonist,” commented local sheriff Lee Baca. “He is probably the most dangerous arsonist I can remember in the region.”

The perpetrator‘s motives remain unclear. A police official told the LA Times, Burkhart had been in a dispute with the immigration authorities over his mother’s legal status, and that he had expressed anti-American views.

After his arrest, police searched Burkhart’s apartment in an attempt to establish whether he had any accomplices. “We’re worried that he had helpers,” said Baca.

Story continues below…

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:08 January 3, 2012 by mos101392
Thank God he was caught in the States and not Germany where he will get a more fitting punishment for his crimes...if it's proven he's the perp. Unfortunately it will be at the expense of the California taxpayer for his imprisonment. I wonder if there has been any fires in Berlin since he arrived in the States?
10:22 January 3, 2012 by freechoice
he must be really bored having to fly thousands of miles away to do that after his stint in Berlin.
11:35 January 3, 2012 by raandy
I hope he realizes he is not in Kanas anymore todo. They will hit you with restitution for sure, and pump sunshine down to his cell.He is also in for a REAL culture shock. good luck in the new year.
11:35 January 3, 2012 by supernova
Germans seem to behave spoiled when outside Germany :) lol I hope it was worth the fun!
12:26 January 3, 2012 by trevzns
Welcome to the land of long jail time and he is accused of setting fires in California. If he is found guilty of setting those fires, there will be no light sentence for him…. no pun intended.

However, if he or his family has lots of money, justice in the US can work in mysterious ways, like the game shows, if the price is right or lets make a deal…no pun intended again.

Wir müssen abwarten und sehen, was passiert mit diesem angeklagte Deutschen Glühwürmchen?

We have to wait and see what happens with this accused German firefly.
12:56 January 3, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
How stupid do you have to be to commit crimes of this sort in the U.S. - probably the worst place in the Western world for that. There will be no slaps on the wrist, his unhappy childhood won't help him, and there will be no chance for a suspended sentence, or even extradition to Germany. He could be looking at a multi-decade sentence for this.
13:25 January 3, 2012 by derExDeutsche
More of the type of Extremism that nobody likes to talk about, or really do much of anything about, in Germany. Its just no fun to talk about Extremism and Violence when German "Progressives' agree with your reasons and motivation.

oh yes, but Neo-Nazi extremism is the only problem...
14:50 January 3, 2012 by storymann
Arson in the USA is very serious,as the courts consider the potential for death and injury.

This individual is looking at a very long incarceration, especially if the Feds pick him up. He committed crimes across State lines which most likely make this a Federal prosecution, he is likely to receive 10 to 15 years in a med to high security facility, they will charge him with multiple counts ( as this is considered a crime of violence) with out parole and only 1 and 1/2 days a month good time.There is no early release other than the good time.In the Federal system you are presumed guilty, not innocent until proven guilty, he has 0 to no chance of getting out of this.

He is about to enter the twilight zone.
15:35 January 3, 2012 by raandy
Just read this title of google news

German arrested in L.A. arsons declares, 'I hate America',,,oh boy you are going to hate it a lot worse before you see the light of day,LOL this guy is real nut job who will pay for that statement over and over again for the next 15 or 20 years,talk about digging your own grave.
17:15 January 3, 2012 by arbeitsbiene3
I hope for his sake is not guilty? And if he is guilty, good luck. The Americans are very ultra-Orthodox regarding crimes and punishments…biblically ultra-Orthodox.

There will be no single man jail cell with tv, microwave or pc. There will be no life sentence of 15 years with reduced sentence, community service, or I am sorry and will not do it again considerations.

His lawyer should consider submitting jail gang memberships with the US Aryan Brotherhood or Neonazis for his protection while in jail. He can always quit the gang if and when he gets out?
17:30 January 3, 2012 by derExDeutsche

'very ultra-Orthodox regarding crimes and punishments…biblically ultra-Orthodox. '

I bet you learned that in School in Germany, huh?

Germany had better get some Schools programs to keep Progressive Teachers from pumping out mindless Progressive America hating drones.
17:45 January 3, 2012 by XFYRCHIEF

I didn't see where he committed crimes across state lines - he lived in the area where he committed his crimes, so I don't see a strong Federal case. California law classify this as aggravated arson due to the extent of damage, the number of structures involved, and the threat to human life. Each conviction carries a sentence of 10 years to life, however, this charge is often reduced to a lesser crime in a plea deal (although I see this as unlikely in this case). He will likely be charged with each event as a separate crime, but will plead guilty to a single charge of aggravated arson in exchange for a sentence less than life. Given the sentencing guidelines, he may receive a sentence of 50 - 75 years, with a chance for parole when 60 - 70% of his sentence has been served.
18:06 January 3, 2012 by storymann
XFYRCHIEF ya you are correct , I don't see that eiher, cloudy and foggy today.

better for him if it stays state as he will get out much earlier and being he did not cross state lines that is entirely possible.

I think he will have a bad time of it no matter where he is incarcerated.
19:47 January 3, 2012 by arbeitsbiene3
@ derExDeutsche, frohes neues Jahr!

Happy New Year and good to know that we all still have the freedom of speech of the Internet to express and share our views and opinions in 20012.

Oh, and the US has its share of crazies and hatemonger drones, that travel the world pumping their progressive mindless, we are the World and here to save you, live free or die crusades! How very ultra-Orthodox indeed.
19:50 January 3, 2012 by Whipmanager
I will add in my two cents: I live in LA, and we were watching with curiosity, as it was suspected it would be some crazy Latino Gang members out to initiate themselves into a gang. We were quite surprised to see it was a german whose mother is being Deported. Unusual since even Latino Gang members who rob stores get leniency and dont get sent out of the country. I recommend you watch closely as they make a case to teach a leasson. What he did was wrong, stupid and worthy of any sentence he gets except a life sentence but, 5 or 6 decades can turn out to be a life sentence anyways., His only break is he can go back to germany and get Social help for the rest of his life there and not have to work again if he ever gets out.

There are no cross state crimes from this guy. He worked alone according to LAPD and they are 100% sure they got the rifght guy (funny, they said that about the guy who supposedly almost killed a fan at the Dodgers game in March of 2011).
20:04 January 3, 2012 by derExDeutsche
The first time I heard about car fires in LA, I was reminded of Germany's Left's Arson Campaign . and sure enough... As usual, the hate within Germany's borders, is not confined there. and predictable, we've been attacked by all sorts from Germany lately.
20:08 January 3, 2012 by XFYRCHIEF

Not to beat this to death, but even if he had committed a Federal crime and been convicted, it is likely they would have allowed his sentences to run concurrently, that is every day in state prison counts as a day in Federal prison. And, even though the Federal "truth in sentencing" laws would require him to serve a larger percentage of his sentence, he would not have received much of a Federal sentence. Arson, unless it involves a U. S. government facility is not a Federal crime. In some cases, if he used the U. S. mail he could be charged with a federal crime, or if he fled across state lines to avoid prosecution. Also, Federal prisons are typically less nasty (best way to put it) than state prisons where he will be placed in the "general population" along with killers, rapists, and other violent criminals. So, the result is that if he hated America before, he is going to REALLY hate us when he finishes his sentence. He is likely to end up being a "close personal friend" to another inmate - or two.
21:59 January 3, 2012 by Beachrider
Arson in California depends largely on the damage done to people and property. He is probably looking at felony sentencing, though. Hard to estimate the impact of an American prison. There is tremendous race-oriented activity behind bars. Many talk of other aspects of forced intimacy, too. He isn't in for a good time, in any event.
05:15 January 4, 2012 by hanskarl
One can only hope he is not sent to Folsom or San Quentin but it is where he belongs. this is a sad story. His mother will most likely be deported to be tried in Germany. My guess is he will appeal to serve his sentience in his homeland arguing hardship once he realises how intense and difficult these types of places are in California.
05:26 January 4, 2012 by PhiloAmericana
Well, I hope he has a fantastic time in our beautiful California prison system. Let me explain something, this ain' Germany, boy. Get ready for your punishment. It's going to last a few decades.
10:23 January 4, 2012 by storymann
XFYRCHIEF, I agree if he is indicted by both Federal and State they would run the sentences concurrently. I doubt that the Feds will pick this up unless asked,as you cleared up the crimes were all in State and no Federal facility was involved.

The Federal system is by far the better place to be, if one must be in one or the other.The overcrowding in State correctional facilities especially in Calf. is horrendous. This individual would have no problem joining the Arian Brotherhood in fact he could by birth be a leading member. I am sure you are correct in your assumption that he will be befriended by some. It will be interesting to see the conclusion. I keep a close eye on the L.A. Times ,they have a big splash on about this issue.
16:45 January 4, 2012 by deutschamer
Some articles say the arson's mother has been arrested in California at the request of Germany for crimes committed in Germany. She has 19 charges of fraud and is a member of a gang. The article says she cannot speak very good German, and they had to get a Russian interpreter. The article also says that the arson had travel papers from Chechnya. Based on that, I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think these people are actually Chechen. A lot of Chechen refugees came to Germany in the 1990s and early 2000s during the Chechen wars in Russia.
20:43 January 4, 2012 by DinhoPilot

Thank you for saving my faith in the german people. Now I am sure that german people never committ crimes but are most framed by eastern europpeans, brits, americans and blacks. Uff that was a close one. ^^

Now we must free the dude and study the causes for his behaviour. He must be given a place of rehabilitation. America must pay for his suffering and Merkel should force Obama to free him. Next, his family, relatives and friends must be given honorary citizenship and the Great Cross of Outstanding Humanship.
01:47 January 5, 2012 by deutschamer
I never said german people did not commit crimes. Its a good thing to have complete information though. Sometimes the tyranny of political correctness, which is kind of like the flip side of prejudice, results in us overlooking the obvious just as prejudices do.
13:08 January 5, 2012 by henry1544
It has now come out that the arsonist "Harry Burkhart", was not "German" but from Chechnya and had German citizenship. Chechnya by the way has a 94% muslim population.

But I guess if I move to China, that makes me "Chinese"...
15:22 January 5, 2012 by raandy
He was arraigned in court today ,here is a cut/paste from the article.

"Harry Burkhart, 24, appeared pale and unwell at the hearing at the state criminal courthouse in Los Angeles. He didn¦#39;t enter a plea on the 37 counts of arson that he¦#39;s charged with, saying only ¦quot;yes¦quot; through a German interpreter when the judge asked whether he understood he had a right to be arraigned yesterday and when he agreed to a postponement."

He used a German interpreter LOL, 37 counts , they are asking for a life sentence.

He is going to have a long time to practice his English.
20:25 January 5, 2012 by ccjlhd@yahoo.de
" I hate you America! "


"Because I want to stay in America!"

That logic would be enough to melt down Mr Spock's brain.
10:27 January 6, 2012 by ErickDDiaz
Hey ! at least the Library was spared... Opps.
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