News Releases

March 5, 2018: German Man Found Sane For Series of Arsons

Greg Risling, Assistant Chief
(213) 257-2000

A jury today found a German national sane for setting a series of fires over several days during the holiday season more than six years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jurors deliberated for several hours before finding Harry Burkhart sane for setting 47 fires beginning on Dec. 30, 2011, under vehicles or near homes using various incendiary devices.

Burkhart (dob 7/12/87) was found guilty in September 2016 of 25 counts of arson of property, 18 counts of arson of an inhabited dwelling and two counts each of possession of an incendiary device, attempted arson and arson of a structure.

Sentencing is set for March 23 when he faces a possible maximum sentence of 88 years and eight months in state prison.

Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney James Falco and Deputy District Attorney Joy Roberts of the Target Crimes Division prosecuted the case.

Burkhart set the fires as a means of retaliation after his mother was arrested in the United States in connection with alleged crimes in Germany.

In all, the defendant set the fires in Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley and West Hollywood.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Arson and Counterterrorism Section, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.