California dentist arrested for allegedly setting fires at competing practices

CAMARILLO, CA -- A California dentist has been arrested on suspicion of starting fires at two dental buildings in Camarillo. Investigators said the suspect may have been financially motivated.

Leopold Weinstein, 63, was arrested Friday on three counts of arson of a structure, three counts of attempted arson of a structure and possession of a silencer.

In June 2014, authorities found flammable liquids on the roof of a dental building in Camarillo. Less than two weeks later, another dental building in Camarillo was set on fire.

Camarillo dentists from the Rosewood Dental Group were among the victims.

"We've been aware of it since June. There's been repeated four different attempts of throwing flammables on the roof and attempting to light them, and successfully lighting them. Our building just won't burn," said dentist Dr. Robert Sprague.

Investigators had few clues until a citizen took a photo of a car near one of the dental buildings seen at an odd hour and gave it to authorities. That car in the photo was linked to a car seen at previous arson incidents.

"What we were told to do was check the roof and make sure that there wasn't anything happening because that's where he was trying to set the fires," said dentist Dr. Matt Pizza.

Last Wednesday, surveillance video allegedly caught Weinstein committing arson to the original dental building where flammable liquids were found.

"It was unique in the fact that a dentist, the suspect in this case, was attempting to, or actually set fire to other dentist offices here in the city of Camarillo," said Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Don Aguilar.

Weinstein was booked at Ventura County Sheriff's Main Jail. His bail was set at $250,000.

"We're just happy that we're safe and nobody was hurt and that our building is still standing here," Pizza said.

Weinstein had been practicing in Camarillo since 2008. He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

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