IRVINE – An apparent attempt to light a church on fire has landed one man in jail and left several church trash receptacles with severe fire damage.
Izad Chavoshan, 30, of Huntington Beach, was arrested outside the church Wednesday night following the alleged act of arson, an act that police believe to be just one try in a series of attempts.
Police report that throughout the month of October, a church in the 100 block of Goodyear had several occurrences of someone going onto church property after hours and setting trash containers on fire.
Consistencies in the four separate incidents included trash receptacles being removed from a storage area then placed next to the church building while the contents of the trash receptacles burned.
Irvine detectives teamed with Orange County Fire Authority arson investigators to solve the series of crimes, initiating surveillance of the church property.
The surveillance efforts paid off just after 9 p.m. Oct. 21, when investigators observed the suspect arrive at the church, locate a trash can and proceed to hurl the trashcan at the front doors of the church. Continuing his attack on the church, police say the suspect then picked up scraps of paper, lit them on fire and attempted to slip the little paper infernos through slots in the front doors.
The surveillance team responded by taking Chavoshan into custody, finding both matches and lighter fluid in his possession.
The church building sustained no damage and no injuries occurred during any of the attacks.
Evidence from the investigation indicates Chavoshan had attended the church, but claimed feeling disenfranchised due to several philosophical differences.