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Officials Ask for Public's Help in Identifying Suspects in Taxi Torching

By Eric Richardson
Published: Saturday, June 19, 2010, at 04:29PM
Taxi Torched on Flower Video Still / LAFD

A still from video released Friday by LAFD shows fire being set to a taxi on Flower street Thursday night in the aftermath of the Lakers' NBA championship win.

The Los Angeles Fire Department yesterday afternoon released video it had received of a taxi set on fire in the Financial District following the Lakers' championship win. The department asks for the public's help in identifying those seen on the tape.

The incident took place on Flower street, between 7th and 8th.

In a posting on its LAFD News and Information blog, the department writes:

If you have information regarding those seen in this troubling video - especially the person(s) igniting and stoking the spread of flame, please call the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section directly at (213) 485-6095.

Those with surveillance camera footage or personal camera and cellphone video of this and other acts of arson are encouraged to call LAFD Investigators.

The mayhem that followed Thursday's win was similar to what occured last year after the Lakers won their 15th NBA title in Orlando.

In the aftermath of that event, public safety officials combed online photos and video in search of those who had committed the acts. At a September press conference announcing the arrest of a man who had participated in looting a Shell station, the head of Central Division detectives emphasized the new role of social media in crime fighting.

"It's nearly impossible to stay anonymous in this age of cell phones, video and social websites," said Lt. Paul Vernon, "and that's a good thing, if it holds more people accountable for their behavior."

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