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NYPD: Man Set Fires At Three Brooklyn Churches

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are trying to find a man who they said set fires at three churches in Brooklyn over the last three days.

In the first incident, the suspect lit a newspaper on fire and burned the doorway of The Greater New Beginnings Church on East 98th Street around 2:45 a.m. Saturday, police said.

The suspect also threw something through a closed window, causing a small fire in the bathroom of the Inglesia Cristiana Church on Pitkin Avenue around 2:35 a.m. Sunday, police said. The fire was quickly extinguished and there was minor damage to the bathroom.

In the latest incident, police said the suspect lit a newspaper on fire, causing minor damage to the Church of St. Mark’s on Union Street in Crown Heights around 6:40 a.m. Monday.

Parish secretary Clothilda Sterling told 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa she had shown up at Church of St. Mark’s early on Monday, only to discover billowing smoke.

“So I pushed the key in, and when I look: fire. So I just went and locked the door, took my cell phone out, then I called 911,” she said.

Police released surveillance video from the incident at Church of St. Mark’s. In it, the suspect is seen holding a newspaper. He then crouches down partially out of frame and seems to spot the camera viewing him and appears to disable it, CBS 2′s Scott Rapoport reported.

During one incident the man was caught on camera wearing a green jacket and a grey hood.

“It’s really flabbergasting. And I wonder who could ever think doing a thing like this especially at the very holy time of this in the church’s year,” said Rev. Denzil Hinds of the Church of St. Mark’s.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

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