Accused LA Arsonist Eyed in Vancouver Fires

Canada rejected Burkhart's claim for refugee status
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2012 12:50 AM CST
Los Angeles Arson Suspect Harry Burkhart a Suspect in Vancouver Fires
In this courtroom sketch, Dorothee Burkhart, mother of Harry, appears in federal court on fraud charges in Los Angeles earlier this week.   (AP Photo/Bill Robles)

Cops in Vancouver are wondering whether accused Los Angeles firebug Harry Burkhart hates Canadians as much as he hates Americans. Burkhart and his mother lived in the city before moving to LA, and Canadian police now suspect him of involvement in at least a dozen unsolved property arsons in Vancouver, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 24-year-old German national, who faces life in prison if convicted of the LA fires, is also suspected of at least one arson in Germany.

Burkhart and his mom left Canada after their refugee claim was rejected because she was wanted on fraud charges in Germany. His mother admitted that she climbed out of a police station window to escape after she was arrested for not paying a bill for breast augmentation surgery, reports the Globe and Mail. A doctor in Vancouver says she was part of a team that diagnosed Burkhart with "autism, severe anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression," CNN reports. (More Harry Burkhart stories.)

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