News Releases

March 23, 2018: German Man Sentenced For Series of Arsons

Contact: 
Greg Risling, Assistant Chief
(213) 257-2000

A German national was sentenced today to more than 30 years in state prison 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.

Harry Burkhart (dob 7/12/87) was sentenced to 33 years and four months in prison by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli. Burkhart 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.

Burkhart claimed insanity but a jury found him sane earlier this month.

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

Burkhart was responsible for 47 fires beginning on Dec. 30, 2011, under vehicles or near homes in Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley and West Hollywood, using various incendiary devices.

Prosecutors said 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.

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.