Brian Lee Carsten Duped Immigrant Merchants with “Fire Inspections:” Cops

A Newport Beach man has been arrested for allegedly posing as a fire official to dupe immigrant merchants into paying him for unauthorized fire inspections.

Anaheim Police investigators arrested 36-year-old Brian Lee Carsten during a late Friday afternoon traffic stop in Orange and booked him into Orange County Jail on multiple counts of commercial burglary, extortion, grand theft, false impersonation of a fire official, counterfeiting an official seal and weapons violations, according to Sgt. Daron Wyatt.

Carsten allegedly struck five times in Anaheim, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach and Santa Ana, and his arrest culminated a week-long joint investigation by Anaheim Police, Anaheim Fire & Rescue, Cal Fire, Huntington Beach Police and Huntington Beach Fire departments, Wyatt said.

“Investigators believe Carsten targeted businesses owned and operated by immigrants or those with limited command of the English language,” Wyatt added. “They also believe there are additional cases not yet reported.”

Did Carsten rip you off? Contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227 (855-TIP-OCCS), via or by texting to 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) from a cell phone. (All text messages should begin with the letters “OCCS”.)

Here's the APD press release in Spanish:


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