Mysterious arsonist in NYC Jewish neighborhood: Anti-Semitic attacks?

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Arsons in New York Jewish Neighborhood Baffle Police.

New York — Somebody has been burning down new homes in a New York City neighborhood populated by Bukharian Jews, and police aren’t sure whether the victims are being targeted for their religion, their architectural taste, or for no reason at all. Cops say the person in the video was spotted walking east on 69th Road near 112 St. and the Grand Central Parkway on Sunday — just minutes before a house on 69th Road caught fire.Police are installing video surveillance cameras around homes undergoing renovations in Forest Hills and asking property owners to reorient any private cameras to give more street coverage as investigators press the hunt for a serial arsonist, officials said Tuesday.

Over the past six weeks, an arsonist has torched six buildings in the same tight-knit section of the Forest Hills neighborhood in eastern Queens, police say. In addition, the reward leading to the arrest and capture of whoever set the fires was raised from $12,500 to $62,500 with the addition of funds contributed by the Bukharian community, said people who attended the closed-door meeting but didn’t want to be identified. Addabbo said. “It’s a question of fear and right now people are very concerned in their own community about what’s next.” “The community stands together in making sure that we find this arsonist that is out there destroying not only people’s homes, but people’s live and people’s dreams,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. Police say they don’t have evidence suggesting that the arsons are hate crimes, but the fact that most of the victims have been Bukharian Jews, a group that fled persecution in Central Asia, has the neighborhood on edge. “I don’t know what to think,” said Rabbi Zalman Zvulonov, whose future home, still under construction, was torched early Monday morning — the second time it was targeted in three weeks. “There are only Jewish houses burning so that tells you something.

While the property owners impacted have been Jewish and the NYPD hate crimes unit is investigating, police have not determined whether the arson fires are bias crimes or the work of a person or people unhappy with the ornate architectural style of the structures, Koslowitz said. After getting ready for bed, Koslowitz said Tuesday, she heard the sound of numerous fire engines and thought “Oh no, here we go again.” Last week, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said a note found at one of the fire scenes appeared to be in code and might have been a lead. It contained six rows of five letters and 18 rows of two numbers, along with the following instruction: “Decode this message to find the person who caused the fire.” A detective and FBI agent both decrypted the puzzle and came up with the name of a store owner, whom police questioned and ruled out as a suspect. Boyce said fire marshals and investigators from the department’s arson and explosion squad, as well as the major case unit, believe the suspect likely lives nearby. Ruben Boruhkov, who came to New York in 1980 from Tajikistan and whose sister lives next door to a house that burned on November 25, said the culprit must have a motive.

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