Orange County authorities searching for arson suspect caught on surveillance video

A person inside a shop.
About 3:30 a.m. on March 20, a person entered a business in the 1000 block of East 6th Street in Santa Ana and used an accelerant to start a fire.
(Orange County Fire Authority)

Authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspected arsonist who was captured on surveillance video pouring liquid inside a Santa Ana business this week, moments before firefighters responded to a significant structure fire there.

The video shows the man entering the auto parts store in the 1000 block of East 6th Street about 3:30 a.m. Monday, holding a gun in one hand. He then picks up a tin container and pours liquid onto two desks in the building, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

Firefighters believe the liquid was some kind of accelerant that could have been used “to start and spread a fire,” according to a tweet by the Fire Authority.


About a minute later, firefighters received a 911 call about flames shooting through the building’s roof, according to a separate tweet from the Fire Authority. Firefighters controlled the blaze within about 12 minutes, but the building was noticeably damaged, said Fire Authority Capt. Thanh Nguyen.

Arthur Aslanian was accused of trying to hire someone to kill a banker and an attorney to avoid paying his debts. Prosecutors say he also tried to set fire to his building.

March 16, 2023

Nguyen did not immediately have a full assessment of the damage and said it wasn’t yet clear if there was a motive for the alleged arson.

No one was injured.

Officials are asking anyone with information about the suspect to call Fire Authority Investigations at (949) 560-0665.