Jonathan Michael Noriega

Los Angeles officials have arrested a suspect in connection with several Venice fires but a second suspect remains at large.

The Los Angeles Fire Department’s Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section announced the arrest of Jonathan Michael Noriega, age 32, on Friday.

Noriega is accused of starting a series of arson fires on Ocean Front Walk near Westminster Avenue on Jan. 25.

LAFD said prompt reporting of the fires by the public helped firefighters quickly extinguished the blazes before flames could cause injury or extend to any structure.

“In canvassing the community in the hours that followed, plainclothes LAFD Investigators – working closely with Patrol Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Community Police Station, received helpful tips from neighbors, including surveillance video that allowed them to quickly apprehend a suspect and obtain imagery of his suspected accomplice,” said the announcement.

The second suspect remains at large.

“Protecting our community from the scourge of firesetting takes teamwork, and in this case, that teamwork paid off with the timely arrest of a suspected arsonist,” said Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Roy Paige, Commander of the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section.

Anyone who knows the identity or location of the outstanding suspect or who can tie these individuals to other crimes or fires should call the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 222-8477.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...