Two homeless men suffered minor burns during an attack on a Thousand Oaks camp Tuesday afternoon, according to authorities.
The officers responded at 16:32 to the Lynn Road and 101 Freeway area, where an attack had been reported in a camp in an open space between 101 and Oaks Mall, Sgt. Timothy Lohman, spokesman for the Thousand Oaks Police Department.
Investigators learned the suspect and the victims knew each other and identified the suspect as Robert Burn, Lohman said.
His age was not available, but a police spokesman said Burn was born in 1987 and is a bystander known for moving around the Thousand Oaks area.
Burn allegedly went into a tent where he found the two victims, both adult men, and is accused of having poured a flammable liquid on them before lighting them, Lohman said.
Both men had minor burns but did not need further medical treatment, he said. Burn fled and has not been found by authorities.
Burn is a 6-foot-1 white man with brown hair, green eyes and weighs about 200 pounds, Lohman said.
Fires in camps in Los Angeles have increasingly worried the authorities, leaving homeless people on the brink.
Earlier this year, a Times analysis of Los Angeles Fire Department data showed that one-third of the 15,610 fires related to homelessness from 2018 to March 2021 were classified as arson.
Some incidents included attacks on camps by outsiders.
In 2019, 27-year-old Daniel Nogueira allegedly threw a firework into a camp under Highway 2 in Eagle Rock, triggering a brush fire that injured homeless people and firefighters.
Nogueira has been indicted and his case is pending in LA County Superior Court.
Los Angeles County forensic records show 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 Skirball fire in 2017 was tracked to a cooking 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, the LAFD began noting in reports whether fires were “homeless-related.”