Man charged after series of Queens mall fires: police

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Police have a man in custody who is suspected in a series of Queens mall fires, including one at a Macy's at Queens Center. File photo
Police have a man in custody who is suspected in a series of Queens mall fires, including one at a Macy's at Queens Center.

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 25, 10:15 a.m.

A man has been arrested following a rash of store fires at three Queens malls, police said.

The suspect, identified as 23-year-old Dereck Sumair, of Jamaica, was apprehended after allegedly setting a fire at a Burlington Coat Factory at the Rego Center mall, just before 4 p.m. Monday, the NYPD said.

Earlier that afternoon, merchandise was set on fire at an Old Navy, Bed Bath & Beyond and Sears at the same 96-05 Queens Blvd. shopping center, according to police.

On Monday, another blaze occurred at Macy’s at the nearby Queens Center mall at about 3 p.m., within 30 minutes of the other fires. Two more blazes were set about an hour earlier, at a Best Buy and Target at Queens Place, a block away, cops said.

On Friday, fires were also lit at the same Rego Center Sears as well as a Toys”R”Us, Staples and T.J.Maxx at the shopping center, police said.

No one was injured in any of the blazes, cops said.

Surveillance photos from the Staples fire helped authorities identify the suspect as he was exiting the Burlington Coat Factory, the NYPD said.

Sumair has been charged with 12 counts of arson, 11 counts of reckless endangerment and 18 counts of criminal mischief, according to police, who did not make clear which fires Sumair is charged with starting.

 

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