Reserve Deputy Who Apprehended Arson Suspect Thanks Community

February 12, 2012

West Hollywood Sheriff’s reserve Deputy Shervin Lalezary thanked citizen responders at a Tuesday afternoon news conference for their help in leading authorities to the man suspected of starting more than 50 fires in the area. “Once the fires started occurring, the city of West Hollywood called with every suspicious person they thought they saw,” said Lalezary, a full-time attorney whose office is located at 9454 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. “And that came a long way with the investigation.” The volunteer deputy’s traffic stop at Sunset Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue early Monday morning led to the arrest of Harry Burkhart , a 24-year-old Hollywood resident and German national . Burkhart is being held without bail in downtown Los Angeles on suspicion of arson of an inhabited dwelling and is tentatively scheduled to make a court appearance in Van Nuys on Wednesday. “The information that I had—basically what was out in the media—was a male, white adult, short ponytail, receding hairline,” Lalezary said. “There was a call of a vehicle fire right when I was about to initiate the traffic stop. Our radio communication was pretty tied up.” The Associated Press reported that Lalezary, who has a law degree from the University of Southern California, became a reserve deputy in 2007. His certification as a Level 3 reserve with the sheriff’s station allows him to perform traffic duties. “I saw that there was an LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department] unit that saw me turn on my lights,” Lalezary said. “They rolled up right behind me … to basically cover me while I searched the vehicle.” West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Prang, who worked as a senior adviser to L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca for nine years, told reporters that he could not have been more pleased. “We are very proud that it was one of our deputies who tracked the case,” Prang told Patch after the conference. “This is obviously a case that transcended municipal counties … God knows how many potential lives and damaged properties were saved.” As a volunteer reserve deputy, Lalezary puts in a minimum of 1,064 hours for $1 each year, said Capt. Phil Hansen, who is in charge of the Reserve Forces Bureau. “Reserves work on patrol, investigative capacities, work on community problems,” Hansen said at the conference. “They have spent quite a great deal in West Hollywood this past year.” Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . See the original post here: Reserve Deputy Who Apprehended Arson Suspect Thanks Community

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Reserve Deputy Who Apprehended Arson Suspect Thanks Community

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