UPDATED: Suspected arson at Quartz Hill home, how to help

Attempted arson Paul Moll

Attempted arson Paul Moll 2

QUARTZ HILL – Deputy district attorney Paul Moll says two individuals were caught on video surveillance during the early morning hours of Friday, July 5, using fireworks to vandalize his Quartz Hill home. Moll has filed a police report and is hoping residents can assist deputies in identifying the suspects.

In an email to The AV Times, Moll described the incident in detail. Read it below:

“On the night of July 4th, (actually at 1:00 a.m. on July 5) two people I’ve never seen before placed a fountain type firework against my house at the front door and lit it up.  This was not the kind of firework that goes “boom” but rather the type that shoots out a sustained jet of flame that would potentially ignite something that it is placed against.

Additionally, the base of the firework was modified so that it would not stand up in the normal fashion, but it would lay flush against my house as it burned.

Attempted arson Paul Moll 3My surveillance system captured the individuals and their car.  The car appears to be an older 2-door light colored Toyota Tercel or perhaps a Ford Escort.

As you can see from the picture of the burn, it caused some damage to the outside of my home.  Under the door frame is wood so there was risk that if the flame would have been a little higher it could have ignited my house.  This would have caused a problem for me, my wife, and two little kids had we woken up [to] the front of the house on fire.

I am a Deputy District Attorney prosecuting criminals at the Lancaster Courthouse.  I don’t know [if] this is related to my job but it’s very disconcerting.

I’m including pictures of the individuals, the car they arrived in, and the burn marks on my house.  I was hoping that you could put these pictures online so that someone might recognize these two individuals and call the Palmdale Sheriff Station with that information.  A deputy did come take a report and the incident will be investigated.”

UPDATED 7/8/13: This incident is now being investigated as an arson by the Sheriff’s Department’s Arson/Explosives Detail, according to an LASD press release. Moll has also posted two videos of the incident online. View the videos below. Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact Lt. Kennedy at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station at (661) 272-2506.



  46 comments for “UPDATED: Suspected arson at Quartz Hill home, how to help

  1. SoSickofExcuses
    July 11, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    No excuse for these kids. The house was obviously targeted. Maybe the 2 young men posting comments on the Facebook page saying, “should we tell” and “they’ll get over it”, know something. I seem to recall both of their names recently in the Lancaster arrest records.

    • Me again
      July 12, 2013 at 3:15 am

      I’m pretty sure I can just about guess who these kids are. Depending on the age of Mr.Wolls kids, id be willing to bet its the kids friends or enemies there of. And if the kids aren’t that old, then its definetly a nearby neighbor or friends of one of the neighbors. Neither kid looks to be a like your average thug. Little QH high school pretty boys. Most definetly gay lovers. They are wearing each others one shoe. Just swapped one for the other. So I’m guessing they share more then just shoes from the looks of it. And dont take this wrong Mr.Moll maybe the pictures don’t show correctly but it looks like it was a safe and sane 2 inch tall firework. Hardly something that a criminal would use to purposely set your house on fire. The front door hardly looks peppered by firework of mass destruction. Not saying it couldn’t have by any means nor do I think its okay. Im on your side there. They need to be punished by all means. But let’s hope the investigators aren’t focused on kids with priors that maybe you had something to do with the case. Try more like someone u might have yelled at for driving too fast down the street, pulled out in front of leaving the house. Called on for having party down the street, yelled at for pissing on your lawn while drunk. That kind of thing. Its right under your nose. I’ll bet ya. Look around at your neighbors and see who’s got kids that age… if it ain’t them personally then its the friends of them and they were the ones that stayed at the car.

      • Me again
        July 12, 2013 at 3:17 am

        Correction: its Mr.Moll not Woll. Sorry.

  2. joe
    July 9, 2013 at 6:21 am

    i dont approve of these pranks & these guys should be caught; however, its amazing to see how much follow thru/coverage this gets ONLY BECAUSE the subject is a quazi public figure or one that knows the legal system. my parents had some thug attempt to pry their window open & break in & the LASD refused to bother to come and take a report…….that is not right.

  3. Wow
    July 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Wow maybe the idiots that are making the comments that this isn’t a big deal are the ones who did this crime? Maybe theavtimes.com should turn them in?

  4. HS Teacher
    July 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    When I read the negative comments I realize that those writing are just young, immature, ignorant, and without any responsibilities in life. Once they grow up they will have a different thought about the safety of the family and property, or at least the public would hope so. In the meantime, I am sure these kids will be caught and I hope they are charged. As a teacher, I am sure one of us will recognize one or both of the hoodlums. As for the shameful comments of some on the site, too bad your parents did not raise you better. We see it in our schools and it carries over into the public.

  5. paul
    July 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Did they to it to the house across the street as well? Looks to be more than just 2 kids. If you look closely there is movement up top right before the 2 start running. Looks to be 3-4 kids doing this prank.

  6. Donny5000
    July 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I been throwing mortars every 4th never had a problem all these old people need to calm down and take vitamins

    • AVGirl
      July 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      Great are you going to pay for my property damage?

      People behind me last year were setting off illegal firework and one was defective (or the people were messing around) and decided to go sideways instead of up. It damaged about 6 feet of my fence, which allowed my dog to escape. We found him the next dog hit by a car.

      So yeah I have a problem with idiots who think they are above the law for their own selfish reasons

      • avcares
        July 8, 2013 at 10:24 pm

        I am sooo sorry about your dog, I just hope those stupid people behind you got what they deserved, even if not by law, what goes around comes around.

    • AVer
      July 9, 2013 at 7:34 am

      You throw a mortar at my house, and I’ll hunt you down and cram a mortar up your [removed], punk.

  7. Concered
    July 8, 2013 at 8:50 am

    I miss the good ole days before all these cameras!! How are kids supposed to have any fun these days? It was just a prank.

    • Citizen of QH
      July 8, 2013 at 9:25 am

      Yes, but even the biggest prankster of them all – Peter Funt once stated, “Pranksters must always be accountable for their actions. . . .”


    • Limits
      July 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      A prank fails to be funny when it has the potential to burn down a house and kill the residents.

    • Get a Clue
      July 10, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      A prank is throwing toilet paper on someone’s tree. Lighting fireworks in front of someone’s house to cause damage is vandalism.

  8. James Sosa
    July 8, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Hope they catch them and tie fire works to their hands and light them !

  9. JoeFletcher
    July 8, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Fireworks are supposed to be illegal in Lancaster/Quartz Hill, and every year there’s a pamphlet in the mail encouraging residents to report the illegal use of fireworks in these areas, but what’s the use? We’ve had people close by our house firing off the big border rockets, causing debris to noisily land on the roof of our house and all over our yard, reported it, and never had any officers respond.

    What I find most interesting about this story is that last year I called the police because of neighbors shooting roman candles at the side of my house and into my backyard, and also at the house behind mine – and no officers ever responded. I feel sorry for the family this happened to, but there are serious issues with the law enforcement division in the AV and how they respond to serious issues, especially on the 4th of July. My family was at risk that night, too – myself, my wife, our two children (one of which is handicap), yet it didn’t seem to be important to local law enforcement. Guess I need to try and get a job at the courthouse to be considered worth their time?

    • reply
      July 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      Next time call 911, they will have to respond. Sounds like your house could have caught on fire, so use 911, not the local numbers for the station. Calling those numbers does nothing.

      • Nancy P
        July 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm

        Early 7/7 @ 3:50am, 911 was called and put through to Lancaster Station. The caller reported a group of approx. 20 kids fighting, screaming and yelling. (woke my a$$ up). Someone else called 911 and told me. I went outside and watched from my front porch. I saw a girl with a knife. 10 minutes went by, no cops came, so I started yelling from across the street that the cops were on the way. The kids with the knife ran off. I called the station non emergency and told them all the kids were gone. At 60+, I shouldn’t have to do that. Just sayin. Thank God, no one got stabbed.

    • Me again
      July 12, 2013 at 2:40 am

      The sheriff weren’t able to show up because they were too busy coming to a family gathering with kids swimming, and the parents and friends playing horseshoes while drinking a few beers. No one screaming,no music on,no one highly intoxicated, and zero fireworks. But a neighbor 3 houses down and one street over decides he doesn’t like it. So calls the station and reports us for being too loud. This was at approximately 430pm mind you. Deputy invites himself in through the front door as one guest was walking in. And gives us a warning that if he gets called back out here, the home owner will be cited and be fined. This neighbor has down this every holiday we have our family over for the past 4 years. And yet nothing can be done for making false claims. He has claimed hearing young females possibly being raped, fist fights in the back yard, excessively loud music, and vulgar language. All of which were untrue. Multiple calls each time, every time. But the sheriff can’t do anything to him. Why’s that?

  10. Victoria
    July 8, 2013 at 2:01 am

    There is never an excuse for this kind of behavior, but let’s be realistic. What is there for kids their age to do? What is there for people between the ages of 18-40 to do? You think there would be so many DUI’s if Lancaster BLVD had bars and clubs and hotels like promised? No, it would be centralized and easy to control. If there was some kind of youth center or some type of 4th celebration for kids 14-18 would there be this type of crime? It’s a cry for help. People and parents work full time and their kids have nothing to do. So they resort to drugs and vandalism. Their brains don’t process things the way an adult does.
    They need a skate park, an arcade, a legit after school program, they need their sports to stop being cut. They need attention, guidance, and role models. You don’t say do this or else. That’s not how you reach out to youth. You show them what they are good at and let it flourish.

    • Citizen of QH
      July 8, 2013 at 5:32 am

      “Their brains don’t process things the way an adult does.”

      I’ll bet a few days in the pokey would give them some cognitive dissonance.

    • 19yearold
      July 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      As a 19-year old I agree with you. There is nothing to do in the AV and the weaker ones resort to this stuff

      • Nancy P
        July 8, 2013 at 10:20 pm

        I agree that there is nothing for kids to do here in the AV. However, that does not mean that parents shouldn’t parent their kids. There are too many kids out of control and nobody keeps them in check. Everyone gives them a free pass. The kids here would tear up anything that was built and steal all the equipment even though it was all done for them. Mom and dad sit on their a$$es in the house while their kids are out front doing fireworks, smoking weed and drinking 40’s before they are even old enough to drive. SAD

    • Get a Clue
      July 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      I’m bored so I’ll start destroying stuff. Sounds logical to me!

  11. Sherri
    July 7, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Does the boy on the right look like he has a boot on his foot, or two different shoes??

  12. Keri
    July 7, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Looking at the picture of them, they look like brothers.

  13. July 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Losers and sore-by-products of the Antelope Valley environment. This happens because of the lack of free/affordable recreation available to young people/adults locally. Whomever were the enablers that provided the funds and actually purchased the fireworks must be held responsible as well.

    • AVGirl
      July 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      So you are blaming everything but the individuals who did this? I live in the same AV yet I have never thought about going out and doing something even close to this.

      Personal responsibility/accountability

    • Joan Wyatt
      July 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Lack of recreation? More like lack of morals and good upbringing. So it’s our responsibility to entertain youths or else they’ll get into trouble? Give me a break. Many teens use their time to do something beneficial to improve their lives or the lives of others. My son didn’t have recreation available growing up. He made his own fun and we knew where he was and who his friends were.

      • AKA Parenting
        July 8, 2013 at 7:33 am

        Nailed it.

    • July 8, 2013 at 10:59 am

      What a bunch of hog wash! If that was even remotely true we would have havoc in the streets. I believe that the majority of the youths in the Valley today do NOT commit this type vandalism. I know that there seems a lack of things to do in the area but I grew up in the SF Valley and said the same things and I am willing to bet that most adults would say the same thing about their experience as a teenager. Would it be nice to see more outlets for teenagers energy? Of course it would, but there are plenty if you choose to look around. If you are a teen reading this, realize that you have to search for these places and things to do you can’t sit around and expect them to come to you. Also, don’t say “I don’t want to do THAT!” just go do something for a couple of months and put some energy into it, then, if you want to make that statement, that’s OK. Go do something else. Then you will see how fast time goes by and how much of a difference one person can make.

  14. gerry
    July 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Looking at the video, the driver is not one of the young men pictured. The driver stays across the street (with another person).

    Not bad video but I would suggest a lower camera placement if possible.

    • Teacher2
      July 8, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Yes, I agree. There are more than the two dummies that went to the door. They will DEFINITELY get caught! It’s just a matter of time! Maybe part of the sentencing should include community service cleaning up houses that have been through a fire!

  15. eo2
    July 7, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Yup, you were targeted. Video should have been a deterrent but some are obviously are not that smart. For those that invest in surveillance I would suggest also having a UPS for it. It is surprising easy to disconnect the power and phone to disable security.

  16. PaulMoll
    July 7, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Someone posted comment at video on youtube saying car looks like 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer. It does.

    • JM
      July 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      So sorry that this happened to you Paul. About 8-9 years ago in my old Quartz Hill neighborhood, around the 4th of July some jerk kids made a “bomb” out of fireworks and blew up a neighbor’s mailbox and a good amount of area around it. My neighbor had just pulled into their driveway an hour before the “explosion”, luckily their home was situated further back the curb (they lived on about 1/2 acre). Dumb kids just don’t realize how dangerous their idiotic ideas of “fun” actually are. I hope someone recognizes these boys and turns them in so that they can be held 100% accountable for their actions.

  17. Joe
    July 7, 2013 at 2:13 am


  18. Nancy P
    July 6, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    They look pretty young. Maybe school cops, coaches or teachers could identify them. Or Juvenile court people might recognize them.
    Other neighbors might have video, maybe one that will show a license plate.
    Good luck.

  19. Moenna
    July 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I’d say more than jerks, JT. I think showing these pictures to school teachers in the area, would put forth some possible names. They don’t look very old to me, criminally inclined though they are.

  20. Rooney
    July 6, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    That is terrible. They sure had nerve and were stupid. The guy in the white shorts looks like he has different colored shoes. The other guy looks like he had glasses on and took them off. Maybe I’m not seeing right. I’d like to see the video. Their voices may be tell tale also. Hope they catch the little brats. A few days in a cell may teach them.

    • Anon Ymous
      July 8, 2013 at 12:28 am

      A few days in a cell? Their actions could have easily caused the house to burn down, killing an entire family in the process. This is not a “boys will be boys” moment; this is a very serious offense.

  21. Johnny Trece
    July 6, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    These two dudes are officially Jerks.

  22. jessica
    July 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    do you have more pictures from the video surveillance that you can post, with them facing the camera more? that would prob. help. the pic is pretty clear though, so hopefully someone that saw them on the night of the 4th will recognize and give police their identity.

    • PaulMoll
      July 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Those are snapshots from the video. I’ve posted on youtube the complete videos of the guys coming up to the house (highlight and paste this in your address bar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvPy-bwcKIc), as well as a different camera capturing the car they drove up in (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0gbzqIWDJE). Can’t say enough good things about a quality surveillance system!

      • annonymous
        July 9, 2013 at 12:02 am

        Mr Paul Woll, please call me at a friends number 661 9749671

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