NYPD releases new video of a suspect taken at first of a series of arsons in …

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

Six homes in a Queens neighborhood heavily populated by Bukharian Jews have been set on fire so far, all belonging to Jews. 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.The New York Police Department is desperately searching for a “ninja” serial arsonist they suspect of setting fire to seven homes while taunting authorities with a coded riddle in Queens, New York.

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. According to DNAinfo.com, the fires began on November 8 and have continued ever since, and police have upped the reward to find their man in the hoodie. “The note included several rows consisting of multiple numbers on the left side, as well as a section listing letters in the alphabet, each matched with a number, on the right side,” according to DNAinfo.com. 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. A “Sudoku-loving detective” solved the puzzle, but the note led police to a dead end; they’ve since ruled out the person named on the note as a suspect. “Initially we looked at it as a lead …[but] don’t believe he is involved in the fire at all,” NYPD’s Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce at a press conference. “We believe it was set there by the perpetrator, but the individual identified in that encrypted code is not … We sat down, we talked to this person at great length.

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. Behind fortress-like fences, luxury cars are parked in the driveways of rebuilt multistory homes that replaced smaller Tudor-style homes. “It could be just a crazy fanatic … but nothing happens for no reason,” said John Yakuboy, a general contractor and Bukharian Jew who emigrated from Uzbekistan in 1980.

Ruben Boruhkov, who came to New York in 1980 from Tajikistan and whose sister lives next door to a house that burned on Nov. 25, said the culprit must have a motive. “Our people, they’re hardworking, hard-building,” Rafael Nektalov, the editor of The Bukharian Times, a Russian-language weekly newspaper, said in an interview. “We want to have a beautiful life in beautiful buildings.” Bukharians — mostly from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — began settling in New York City in large numbers after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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