Man arrested in string of car fires in downtown L.A.

A 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson in a string of car fires set in downtown Los Angeles.

A 32-year-old transient was arrested on charges of setting a string of car fires in downtown Los Angeles early Thursday, police said.

David Barton is being held on suspicion of arson after he was taken into custody by LAPD  officers about 3:30 a.m. at Maple Avenue and Olympic Boulevard in connection with a nearby car fire, Det. Meghan Aguilar said.  Barton is also believed to be linked to two vehicle fires in downtown Los Angeles hours before, she said. City fire arson investigators are leading the inquiry.

The fires began about 2:45 a.m. in the 1000 block of South Hill street with the burning of a black sports car. Shortly after, a second car was set ablaze in the 900 block of South Hill. Those fires were followed by a third car fire  in the 200 block of East 11th Street. Barton was detained about a block from the final fire. There were lighters in his backpack, said Capt. Don Graham. Barton allegedly smashed the car windows to set the fires, officials said.

Los Angeles firefighters were able to quickly knock down all three fires.

About two weeks before Barton was arrested for the car fires, he was arrested for vandalism in South Los Angeles.

Follow Southern California crime @lacrimes @katemather.

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