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2015-12-02 / Front Page

FDNY: Video Shows Forest Hills Firebug

By Liz Goff

Police last week released surveillance footage of a man wanted in connection with a recent spate of arson fires at construction sites in Forest Hills.

Cops are hoping the images will prompt calls from the public to help snare the firebug, who they believe intentionally set six to seven fires at construction sites in Forest Hills since October 20.

Flames shot from a home under construction at 108-45 67th Drive at about 11:20 pm on Thanksgiving eve, the latest in the series of arson fires. The suspected arsonist left a note behind near the November 25 fire, FDNY officials said, but they did not release the message left by the suspect.

Police sources said the firebug appears to be targeting a section of Forest Hills between Jewel and 65th Avenues, and between Queens Boulevard and the Grand Central Parkway.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said four of the fires have been labeled arson, while the remaining fires are under investigation.

The suspect, dressed in a gray hoodie, was captured on video surveillance footage scaling the wall of an empty house that was undergoing renovations on 66th Avenue on November 17, moments before a fire broke out at the site.

Neighbors told police they saw a man jump over a fence behind a home on 67th Drive at about 10:50 pm on November 25, moments before the empty house was engulfed in flames. Fire officials did not say if the man spotted before the November 25 fire is the same man in the surveillance footage.

Anyone with information is urged to call the NYPD CrimeStoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or click on www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

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