Police on Monday released surveillance video of a woman wanted in connection with seven suspicious fires in the El Segundo area.
No damage or injuries have been reported in the fires, two of which were ignited inside local churches while parishioners were worshipping, authorities said.
The surveillance video was captured Sunday by a camera mounted in an alley behind a nail salon in the 400 block of Main Street. The footage shows a woman — wearing a white tank top, dark pants and flat shoes — purposely setting fire to patio furniture, according to police.
She is described as being between 55 and 65 years old, 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, with dark-brown or black shoulder-length hair.
"When we first started having these arsons, we thought that it was going to turn out to be some juveniles committing these crimes," said Sgt. Hugo Perez of the El Segundo Police Department. "But when we saw a female on video, we were very surprised by that."
The incidents occurred in July and August, within blocks of one another and during early morning hours, authorities said. They included two dumpster fires, a window frame that was set ablaze at a vacant building, and a small brush fire.
"These arsons are happening in areas where people are congregating … in residential areas of the community," Perez said. "If this continues, we do fear that someone may get hurt or someone could die from this."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Ryan Danowitz at 310-524-2258 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Detective Eric Atkinson at 310-524-2216 or email@example.com.