Authorities say they’ve arrested a man believed to be responsible for setting five cars on fire in a series of separate incidents in Downtown Long Beach over the past two weeks.
Long Beach Fire Chief Dennis Buchanan said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon that a person had been taken into custody in connection to the car fires.
Police identified him as 31-year-old Long Beach resident Cristian Jehovany Portillo. He was taken into custody on suspicion of arson and possession of a concealed dirk or dagger.
Details were limited during the press conference, with fire officials stating that Portillo matched the description of the person a neighbor photographed walking near one of the car fires, officials said.
The first car fire was reported Aug. 20 near the convention center, authorities said. Four more car fires followed, with the latest happening Tuesday morning near the Camden Harbor View apartment buildings near The Pike.
Each time, the cars were parked inside a parking structure when they caught fire. The fires were set in various ways, but officials would not specify exactly how.
The investigation remains ongoing, including looking into whether more suspects were involved, officials said.
Portillo’s bail was set at $50,000.
Officials continue to ask community members to speak up if they continue to see anything suspicious. Anyone with information regarding the car fires is asked to call the LBFD’s arson unit at 562-570-2582.