Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A 36-year-old Newport Beach man was behind bars today for allegedly impersonating a fire official and charging businesses in various Orange County cities to conduct bogus fire inspections.

Brian Lee Carsten was arrested late Friday during a traffic stop in Orange, according to the Anaheim Police Department.

Police said Carsten is believed to have impersonated a fire official on at least five occasions in Anaheim, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach and Santa Ana. Investigators believe he targeted businesses owned and operated by immigrants or people with limited command of the English language.

Police also suspect there are additional victims. Anyone with additional information or who thinks they may have been victimized was asked to call Crime Stoppers at (855) 847-6227 or at

Carsten was booked on suspicion of commercial burglary, extortion, grand theft, false impersonation of a fire official, counterfeiting an official seal and weapons violations. He was being held without bail.

–City News Service 

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