Your Friendly Neighborhood Arsonists

Wondering about that sorta creepy neighbor who’s still talking about last summer’s SoCal wildfires? The guy who barbecues outdoors a whole lot more than seems normal?

Pretty soon, you should be able to go online and see if he’s among the arsonists registered with Orange County police departments. According to the Department of Justice’s Sex Offender Tracking Program, which also keeps tabs on your everyday pyromaniacs, there are currently 119 in the OC.

Leader of the pack? Santa Ana (home of the Weekly) with 17, followed by Anaheim 15, Fullerton 11 and Costa Mesa 10. The rest: Buena Park 8, Garden Grove 7, Orange 6, Irvine 5, Tustin 3, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach and Westminster 2, La Habra, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Placentia, Seal Beach and Stanton 1 each.

Possibly scary number? Orange County Sheriff’s Dept with 23 registered – maybe all on your block. There’s no way of knowing, yet.

Legislation introduced in January by Sen. Jim Battin (R.– La Quinta) seeks to provide public access to all registered arsonists in the state, similar to the Megan’s Law sex offenders database, which is available on the Internet. SB 1130 is being heard in the Senate public safety committee today (April 8).

Last October’s fires, the ones your neighbor gets all breathless about, burned over 500,000 acres, destroyed 1,500 homes and claimed 14 lives. Stay tuned.

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