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Police Files

Man starts fire in canyon, also admits to fire at bus depot

On Tuesday, Feb 4, at 11:36 p.m., LBPD officers and LBFD responded to a vegetation fire reportedly near the ASL, at the 20500 block of Laguna Canyon Road. Officers arrived on scene and extinguished the 5’ x 10’ brush fire with their fire extinguishers. 

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “Upon arrival, officers contacted homeless subject Michael Garcia next to the flames. LBFD personnel was on scene and investigated the unlawful fire.” 

Sgt Cota said, “Garcia admitted to starting the first fire on the cement pad as a warming fire and the second smaller fire he lit to illuminate the creek to look for a female friend. Garcia also admitted to causing the fire at the bus depot a month prior.”

A fire investigator was notified and will conduct a follow-up investigation.

Garcia was on probation, so his probation officer was notified. 

“Garcia was arrested for fire-related charges and violation of his probation terms,” Sgt Cota said.

No bail was set.

Alleged stolen vehicle arrest also leads to meth

On Monday, Feb 3, at 6:44 p.m., LBPD officers were alerted to an alleged stolen vehicle traveling inbound on Laguna Canyon Road. Officers located the vehicle as it passed through the 600 block of Laguna Canyon Road.

Sgt Cota said, “A high-risk traffic stop was conducted in the 1500 block of South Coast Highway. A female driver and male passenger were detained from inside of the vehicle. Marijuana, methamphetamine, and paraphernalia were found inside of the vehicle.” 

“The driver, Christin Shanna Hill, 34, was arrested for [alleged] possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a stolen property, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of narcotic paraphernalia,” Sgt Cota said.

Bail was set at $50,000.

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

  -By Suzie Harrison