Jan. 8, 2013
Tim Dewar, email@example.com
A 53-year-old homeless man was arrested Monday morning in connection with the New Year’s Day fire at the Ojai post office.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s detective Mike Harris, Paul Robert Boyers was taken into custody without incident near the intersection of Maricopa Highway and Lomita Drive in Meiners Oaks at approximately 8 a.m.
Harris explained that because of suspected mental health issues, Boyers is being examined by Ventura County mental health officials. After completion of his examination, Boyers will be released into the care of the Sheriff’s Department and will be held until his initial court appearance.
Police suspect Boyers dropped burning material of some kind into the after-hours collection box in the post office lobby shortly before 4:30 p.m. Jan. 1. All of the letters in the collection bin were destroyed and a portion of the nearby walls and ceiling were damaged.
Although limited counter service and access to post office boxes in the lobby were available the following day, as of Tuesday afternoon, the wall where the collection box had been was still covered with plywood and phone service to the post office had yet to be restored. Home delivery service was not impacted by the blaze.
Postmaster Greg Pace explained that crews are still working to remove soot damage from some areas of the building. One window at the front counter remained closed, he said, which has led to longer-than-normal lines. He was unsure when the work would be complete.