Police: Man on arson and vandalism rampage hits La Verne

A security camera is to catch the bad guy in the act of a crime. That's exactly what happened Tuesday night at Mr. D's Diner in La Verne.

The suspect, described as about 19 or 20 and approximately 5 feet, 6 inches tall, was seen on camera stuffing what looks like a pair of pants into the grease tank and lights a make-shift wick.

Stefano Kosmides, a co-owner at his family's diner, believes the suspect used the wick in the grease tank to accelerate the fire.

He then went inside.

"He looked for the hostess. He went and sat down. He ordered. He went to the bathroom. He broke off the light switch and broke some lights and then he came out and continued on for his meal," Kosmides said.

According to authorities, that was just one of the places he allegedly vandalized. The suspect hit a string of six businesses along Foothill Boulevard between Damien Avenue and Baseline Road.

Police said he torched one of the company cars outside of a Molly Maid office.

Supervisor David Saenz said it was completely smoke damaged on the inside, with "one seat totally burned out."

Next door at Outdoor Elegance, police said he damaged a gazebo then set two trash fires at a Union 76 station.

His rampage continued by breaking windows at the Kiddie Academy and another stop at Inland Dental Office on the same street.

Dr. John Tchaboukian hopes police will find suspect who damaged the door of his dental office.

Police hope the security camera video at Mr. D's Diner will help identify the suspect.

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