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Suspect’s prior arson case involved trash can fire in Las Vegas

Updated May 10, 2017 - 10:56 pm

The man arrested on arson charges in connection with Monday night fires at a Jewish center is linked to a previous trash can fire at the Sawyer Building, records show.

Afshin Bahrampour was arrested July 22 in connection with a March 28 trash can fire at the Sawyer Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., according to a Las Vegas police report obtained Wednesday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Bahrampour, 47, pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree arson in September 2016, court records show.

An employee at the state building called police to report that she witnessed a “suspicious” man throw an object into a trash can and then run from the building and jump a fence, according to the report.

Another employee noticed flames and smoke coming from the trash can. He removed the trash can from the building, and another employee doused the flames with water.

Surveillance footage shows Bahrampour leaving the cafeteria, where he stole fries and a drink, before walking toward the trash can’s location, according to the report.

Five days after the fire, police were notified that a person matching Bahrampour’s description was back on the property. A Las Vegas police officer confronted Bahrampour, who told him that he was homeless and denied starting the fire.

Bahrampour was released that day from police custody, despite the officer seeing him with lighter fluid and the same jacket that was seen on the surveillance footage, according to the report.

In the more recent incident, he was arrested Tuesday on one count of first-degree arson, three counts of third-degree arson and one count of burglary while in possession of a gun or deadly weapon, jail records show. That arrest came after two fires were set at the Chabad Jewish Center of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada, 1261 Arville St., near West Charleston Boulevard.

One of the Jewish center fires was set in a trash can.

Contact Lawren Linehan at llinehan@reviewjournal.com or at 702-383-0381.Follow @lawrenlinehan on Twitter.

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