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Police Investigating Series Of Car Fires In Hamilton Heights

NYPD: As Many As 15 Vehicles May Have Been Targeted; Residents Disgusted
A Range Rover that was set on fire at the intersection of Edgecombe Avenue and 150th Street in Hamilton Heights on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

A Range Rover that was set on fire at the intersection of Edgecombe Avenue and 150th Street in Hamilton Heights on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are investigating after more than a dozen cars were set on fire overnight in Upper Manhattan.

The cars were discovered across several blocks in the Hamilton Heights area near 150th Street and Bradhurst Avenue.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

One car was found around 3:45 a.m. Tuesday near Bradhurst and 150th Street. Two other vehicles were discovered badly damaged on Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 149th Street and on Edgecombe Avenue and 150th Street.

“Who would want to do something like this to me,” said Adalise Ramos, whose minivan was among those torched. “This is just horrible.”

Cars torched in Hamilton Heights, Manhattan - Sep 11, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

Cars torched in Hamilton Heights, Manhattan – Sep 11, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

“It was a small fire when it started,” said a woman who witnessed one of the car fires from her window. “Then it started to blaze from underneath the bottom.”

Police said as many as 15 cars could have been targeted.

Sherise Budhai-Walker told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang about the horror of witnessing her Land Rover go up in flames.

“It’s exploded or something and I ran downstairs to see this, and it’s unbelievable,” Budhai-Walker said.

“I think someone has a lot of time to damage people’s property. It’s not right, it’s definitely not right,” Oral Walker added. “I’m going to buy a new one. I’ll just put it in a parking lot this time.”

WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane reports

Some of the vehicles that were set on fire included a Mustang convertible, a Scion and a Range Rover.

The Fire Department said it received about 100 calls for possible car fires, but many of them were false alarms.

Residents said this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Five cars went up in flames in the neighborhood about 18 months ago.

Whoever’s responsible didn’t take much from inside the cars. Even GPS units were left behind, so it appears the motive was to cause destruction, CBS 2′s Jiang reported.

“This guy is a fire freak or something, I don’t know. It’s ridiculous,” resident Phil Wright said.

Victims said they were relieved about one thing:

Doesn’t look like anyone got hurt; Cars are replaceable, people aren’t,” Erica Butler said.

No word yet on a suspect or a motive.

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