Between November 2016 and February 2017, five trash can fires were set in the Stough Park Nature Center area. The fires appeared to have been started using a lighter and were contained inside the Mens’ and Womens’ restrooms. There was no structural damage to the Stough Park Nature Center or surrounding area, but the trash cans did suffer minor damage.
Burbank Police Detectives investigating the case were able to obtain a partial license plate number and vehicle description believed to be involved, which was provided by a witness. Using this information, two suspects were identified, both of whom are minors.
On March 6, 2017, Burbank Police Investigators contacted and detained the juvenile suspects. During an interview, the suspects admitted to lighting the fires in the Stough Park restrooms. Both individuals were placed under arrest for arson of property. They were booked at the Burbank Police Department and then released to their parents via citation because of their ages.
The suspects are both males, 16 and 17 years of age, and residents of Burbank. They are both due to appear in court in May.
The Stough Park Nature Center is located in the Verdugo Mountains and is surrounded by wildlife, flowers, trees and other types of natural habitat. Smoking and open flames are prohibited in this area. The Burbank Police Department and Burbank Parks and Recreation Department monitor this and other hillside areas regularly for suspicious activity. Anyone suspected of illegal activities, which includes setting fires or other negligent acts that present a threat to life and/or property, will be held liable both criminally and civilly for damages incurred and any costs associated with the response of public safety personnel.
Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity in any Burbank park is urged to call the Burbank Police 24-hour non-emergency line, at (818) 238-3000.