Monterey Park man suspected of arson in connection with tree fire

MONTEREY PARK — Police jailed a Monterey Park man early Friday on suspicion of lighting a tree on fire in an arson similar to about a dozen others reported in the city over recent years, authorities said.
Hai Liang Qiao, 39, was arrested on suspicion of arson as he sat in a parked car and watched a tree burning shortly after midnight in the 100 block of North Lincoln Avenue, just north of Garvey Avenue, according to Monterey Park police officials.
The car Qiao was in matched the description of a car reportedly involved in a previous tree fire in the city several years ago, Sgt. Paul Villalobos said.
About a dozen similar fires have been reported in Monterey Park over the past several years, officials added.
Authorities were continuing to investigate whether Qiao was responsible for any of the others.
In the string of Monterey Park arson fires, only trees have been damaged, officials added. No structure damage or injuries have been reported.
According to county booking records, Qiao was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending arraignment Tuesday in Alhambra Superior Court.
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