Man Charged With 11 Felony Counts of Arson

For Immediate Release
April 3rd, 2002
Contact: Tori Richards
(714) 347-8405

Man Charged With 11 Felony Counts of Arson

WESTMINSTER — An unemployed packer was charged today with setting a string of fires in trash dumpsters and bus bench shelters between March 7 and March 29 in Westminster.

Brian Lee Dutch (DOB 12-7-78) of Huntington Beach was arrested Saturday night after setting a fire at a trash dumpster at 5841 Westminster Ave., Westminster. His arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today in the West Justice Center.

The case began when the Orange County Fire Authority and Westminster police noticed a series of arson fires in Westminster. Initially, the fires were set in trash dumpsters that did not endanger structures. However, the fires and frequency increased in danger. For example, on March 15, a trash container was set on fire inside Taco Bell at 9061 Edinger Ave. Although the fire was extinguished before any major damage could be caused, the potential for destruction or injury to people was great.

On March 29, arson investigators and police staked out an area where other fires had occurred. At 8:05 p.m., an investigator saw Dutch set a dumpster on fire. He was arrested as he left the scene.

A specially trained dog belonging to Irvine Police Department also aided in the investigation to solve the case.