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A Huntington Beach man who apparently had grown disenchanted with Church of Christ in Irvine has been arrested for a series of fires set there this month, police announced today.
Officers who had the church under surveillance watched a man trying to burn papers near the doors at 10 Goodyear on Wednesday night before taking him into custody. He was identified as 30-year-old Izad Chavoshan.
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Someone entered the church property after-hours and lit trash receptacles on fire four separate times this month. In each instance, the rubbish collected was moved from its storage location and positioned near the church building, after which the receptacle's contents were set on fire. No damage was caused and no one was injured in the vandalism.
Irvine police detectives and Orange County Fire Authority arson investigators then placed the church under surveillance. They claim to have watched the suspect shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday throw a trash can at the front doors of the church, pick up scraps of paper, light them on fire and then try to place the burning paper into the slots of the church's doors in an apparent attempt to start a fire inside.
Police say they found matches on Chavoshan and barbecue lighter fluid in his car. Their investigation revealed that the suspect previously attended the church and had become disenfranchised as a result of a variety of philosophical differences, police say.