Westside Trash Can Arsonist Arrested by Police

The Santa Monica Police Department have arrested Joseph Brent Burchett (right) in relation to a series of arson-related trash can fire incidents, pictured right. Photos: Santa Monica Police Department/Amy Goldman.

Santa Monica police arrest Joseph Brent Burchett for Arson.  

By Staff Writer

After several weeks of investigating, the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) have arrested a man for a series of arson-related trash can fire incidents, charging 57-year-old Joseph Brent Burchett with Arson.


The incidents occurred on December 22, 2018 and January 1 and 3, 2019 in alleys nearby Montana Avenue.

On January 3, 2019 at about 5:20 p.m. SMPD officers responded to a radio call for service of a trash can fire in an alley of the 2800 block of Montana Avenue. Santa Monica Fire Department (SMFD) responded and extinguished the fire. SMPD Detectives and SMFD Arson Investigators responded for an investigation.

“During a preliminary investigation, information lead to a possible suspect in the most recent incident, Joseph Brent Burchett, a 57-year-old male,” reads an SMPD press release.

Later on January 3, at about 11:30 p.m., SMPD Officers located Burchett on the 1900 block of Arizona Avenue and took him into custody.

SMPD Detectives are working to determine if there are any links to the previous incidents.

Burchett has been booked for 451(d) PC – Arson and remains in custody at SMPD Jail with a bail option of $50,000. On January 7, 2019 the case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office-Airport Branch for filing consideration.

Anyone with information related to any of the incidents is encouraged to call the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491; Detective Cooper at (310) 458-8478; or Sergeant Skogh at (310) 458-8992.