Several Whitestone residents woke up the morning of Aug. 31 to find that their cars had been burned beyond recognition during the night, while others found theirs had been scratched with a key, according to City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone).
Police said they were still investigating the spate of vandalism and had no suspects as of Tuesday. The Fire Department was investigating how the fires were started and looking for other evidence.
Police said the FDNY has a video that was taken at the time the fires were set, but had little information as to the specific nature of the video. Fire officials were not available to comment Tuesday.
At about 1 a.m., the police received a call indicating that there was a car on fire on 9th Avenue in Whitestone, police and Halloran said.
Police responded to the scene quickly, Halloran said, and found that four cars had been set on fire on 9th Avenue at 150th Street and that about a dozen cars had been keyed along the avenue.
“This spree is troubling because of the number of cars destroyed by fire and the severity of the damage,” Halloran said. “The arson damage was extreme, and most of the burned cars were damaged beyond recognition. Responders had to cut cars apart to make sure fire wasn’t still burning inside. The fire was so severe in some cases that neighboring properties also sustained damage.”
There were no witnesses, according to police, but the police were working to determine who may have committed the acts of vandalism.
Steven Stites, a spokesman for Halloran, said there have been rumors among residents of the area that youths from the neighborhood probably committed the vandalism, but he emphasized that law enforcement had not confirmed the assertions.
“Detectives from the 109th Precinct and FDNY fire marshals are investigating the incident,” Halloran said. “As I understand it, there are no suspects at this time, but I know that the precinct is working hard to solve these crimes and bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice.”
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4538.
©2010 Community News Group
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