Two homeless men suffered minor burns during an attack at a Thousand Oaks camp on Tuesday afternoon, according to authorities.
Officers responded at 4:32 pm to the area of Lynn Road and the 101 Highway where an attack was reported in a camp in open space between the 101 and the Oaks mall, said Sgt. Timothy Lohman, a spokesman for Thousand Oaks Police Department.
Investigators found out the suspect and victims knew each other and identified the suspect as Robert Burn, Lohman said.
His age was not available but the police spokesman said Burn was born in 1987 and is transiently known to drive around the Thousand Oaks area.
Burn allegedly entered a tent where he found the two victims, both adult males, and is accused of pouring flammable liquid on them before setting them on fire, Lohman said.
Both men had minor burns but did not need further treatment, he said. Burn fled and was not located by authorities.
Burn is a 6-foot-1 white male with brown hair, green eyes and weighs about 200 pounds, Lohman said.
Campfire fires in Los Angeles have increasingly worried authorities and left homeless people on edge.
Earlier this year, a Times analysis of Los Angeles Fire Department data showed that a third of the 15,610 fires related to homelessness from 2018 to March 2021 were classified as arson.
A number of incidents included attacks on camps by outsiders.
In 2019, 27-year-old Daniel Nogueira allegedly threw a fireworks display into a camp under the 2 Freeway in Eagle Rock, igniting a bushfire that injured homeless people and firefighters.
Nogueira has been charged, and his case is pending in LA County Superior Court.
Records from the Los Angeles forensic pathologist’s office showed that 41 homeless people have died from burns or smoke inhalation since 2015, sometimes in combination with other causes.
Authorities began tracking fires related to homelessness after the 2017 Skirball fire was tracked to a kitchen fire in a ravine near Sepulveda Boulevard.
The fire destroyed six homes and damaged a dozen others as it spread through Bel-Air.
After the Skirball fire, LAFD began noting in reports whether fires were “related to homelessness.”