The search for a suspect who set an American flag on fire at a West Hills home ended with the arrest of 31-year-old Kevin Miller.
Miller was seen on surveillance video Saturday night walking towards the flag at the home on Welby Way, lighting it on fire and then fleeing the scene. The flames quickly spread to the lawn but an alert neighbor spotted them and put out the fire with a garden hose.
Initially the incident was thought to be a hate crime, as the family in residence is Jewish and has a mezuzah at the front door. The worry was warranted due to the uptick in hate crimes following the escalation of the war in Gaza.
The homeowner said after viewing the security footage, “I’m scared because I’m the mother of four kids. We live in America. I want to be safe, and it’s a free country where anyone can believe in whatever they want to believe in.”
LAPD reported that Miller does not have any prior arrests for arson, and they believe that he was not motivated by hate, though his rationale was unclear. He was booked for arson of an inhabited dwelling and bail was set at $250,000.