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North Hollywood Arson Suspect May Have Served Time For String Of Japanese Fires

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LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Is the suspect in a string of North Hollywood arson fires also responsible for torching bars and restaurants in Japan a decade ago?

Los Angeles fire investigator David Liske says they are contacting the Navy to determine whether Kurt Billie, 34, is the Marine who was given five years in a Japanese prison in 2001 for setting fires in Okinawa.

Billie was arrested Tuesday near the scene of a motor home fire in North Hollywood. It was the latest in a series of early-morning vehicle fires that have been deliberately set in the same area since mid-July.

Liske says Billie may only have been in town for a couple of months. He’s refusing to talk to investigators.

Billie remains jailed Wednesday on $250,000 bail.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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