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Queens Dumpster Fire Arson Suspect Arrested, Police Say

By Alexandra Talty | December 15, 2015 7:56pm
3 Dumpster Fires Spark Anxiety Amid Search for Forest Hills Fire Ninja
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QUEENS — Police arrested a suspect in a string of dumpster fires on Austin Street in Forest Hills, according to the NYPD. 

Samer Shuaib, 36, of Queens, was charged with criminal mischief, arson and reckless endangerment after police said that he set three "small debris fires" along Austin Street, a major commercial strip in the neighborhood, late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, police said. 

The first fire was set in front of the 112th Precinct station house at 68-40 Austin St. at Yellowstone Boulevard on Wednesday at 11:56 p.m. The fire set there damaged a parked patrol car, according to published reports, but police and fire officials would not confirm it.

The second fire was set Thursday at 1:24 a.m. on the same block, in front of 69-30 Austin St.

The third blaze broke out down the block in front of 69-02 Austin St., at 69th Road, around the same time. 

No injuries were reported, according to the FDNY. 

Police were able to find surveillance video of the arsonist, which they released to media organizations last week.

Forest Hills has been on edge recently because of a series of suspicious fires set by a  "fire-starting ninja" in the past two months. That arsonist has targeted mostly vacant homes between Jewel and 65th avenues and between Queens Boulevard and the Grand Central Parkway in the Cord Mayer section of Forest Hills. 

Police say that Shuaib is not a suspect in those fires.