LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A man believed to be the suspect wanted over an explosion outside a Los Angeles-area synagogue last week was arrested in Ohio, reportedly on his way to New York, the FBI said.
Ron Hirsch, described as “extremely dangerous,” had boarded a Greyhound bus bound for the east coast last Thursday within hours of the early-morning explosion at the Chabad House synagogue in Santa Monica.
Surveillance video had shown him apparently getting off the bus in Denver, Colorado, although his exact movements after that were not immediately clear.
“An individual believed to be Ron Hirsch… was taken into custody in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Monday evening,” said a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“The individual in custody was arrested following a call to law enforcement by a concerned citizen who had come into contact with man believed to be Hirsch,” she said.
Detectives issued a mugshot of the heavily-bearded suspect late Friday, and on Monday released images from surveillance camera footage showing him in Denver, after getting off the east-bound bus.
Hirsch — who used the aliases Israel Fisher, or J. Fisher — is believed to have family in New York, said a joint statement earlier by the FBI and Santa Monica Police.
Police in the LA area stepped up patrols around local synagogues and Jewish centers after the blast, which propelled a 300-pound (135 kilo) metal post cased in cement into the air, landing on the roof of a neighboring house.
Nobody was injured but some 100 people were evacuated following the explosion, which also shattered windows and damaged an outside wall of the synagogue.
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