Tommy Wayne Burke, on Parole for Santa Ana Trash Bin Arsons, Arrested Near Latest Blazes

Categories: Crime-iny

See the update at the end of this post about the arrest of a paroled arsonist near the scene of these arson fires.

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ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 13, 8:30 A.M.: Police are seeking whoever is responsible for a series of 11 trash bin arsons this month in Santa Ana.

The fire bug usually strikes between 1-4:30 a.m., when stores between the 100 and 500 blocks of North Sullivan Street are closed, according to police Sgt. Bill Nimmo.

The first blaze was reported Aug. 3, then there were 10 more on subsequent days on both sides of the commercial area of Sullivan, Nimmo reportedly told City News Service.

The most recent fire was started around 4 a.m. Sunday, when the arsonist pulled the bin away from the businesses it was closest to, according to Nimmo. None of the fires have spread beyond the bins.

Investigators believe the arsonist may live nearby, so area patrols have increased, the sergeant noted.

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Tommy Wayne Burke in 2012.
UPDATE, AUG. 13, 4:25 P.M.: A convicted arsonist was arrested for alleged parole violations today in the same block where 11 trash bin arson fires have been reported since Aug. 4, and that makes 43-year-old Tommy Wayne Burke a "person of interest" in the blazes, according to police.

Burke was arrested around 7:45 a.m. and held without bail for the alleged parole violations. He pleaded guilty in January 2012 to setting five trash bin fires behind Santa Ana businesses in February 2010 and was sentenced to six years and four months in prison but was given credit for 1,364 days already served.

He has not yet been charged with criminal counts related to the most-recent fires.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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2 comments
Brian J. Arra
Brian J. Arra

Maybe the newly hired $500 thousand a year city manager can figure it out.

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