Police are looking for a man who they say set three trash fires on Wednesday night on a central block of Forest Hills, Queens. The arsonist struck between 11:49 p.m. and midnight, hitting garbage receptacles on Austin Street between 69th Road and Yellowstone Boulevard, and finishing with a dumpster in front of the NYPD's 112th Precinct station house.
The fires follow seven instances of arson in the neighborhood, mostly at construction sites and vacant homes in a Bukharian Jewish enclave. The Police Department's Chief of Detectives, Robert Boyce, told the Daily News the trash-focused firebug is "a second person, obviously a copycat." The Bukharian Jewish Center is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the home arsonist, on top of the NYPD's $2,500 reward.
Police ask people with information about any of the arsons to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-8477, visit the Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 274637, then enter "TIP577".