NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It has been almost a year since someone terrorized a Queens neighborhood, setting homes on fire.
But so far, the case appears to have gone cold. And as CBS2’s Steve Langford reported, the string of attacks has many fearing the suspect could strike again at any time.
Nine months after the sinister series of arson attacks on new home construction sites in a predominantly Jewish section of Forest Hills, some homeowners have taken extraordinary security measures.
“Twenty-four-hour nighttime, daytime security, because we have to do this,” said Roman Fuzaylov of Forest Hills. “We’re scared.”
Fuzaylov said two sentry towers are manned around the clock, along with cameras capturing surveillance video, just in case the unknown arsonist or arsonists who torched a nearby home on Nov. 8 of last year strikes again.
“We hope maybe there’s going to be a result – a good result to catch who make this,” Fuzaylov said.
Nine months after someone set fire to at least eight homes in the neighborhood the joint police-fire task force formed late last year to crack the crime wave has been disbanded – even though the case is still listed as open.
Police sources told CBS2 there have been two persons of interest investigated in connection with the series of arson attacks, but no arrests.
“Ten months, and we don’t have now who did this,” said community leader Rafael Nektalov.
Many in the neighborhood praised police for generally keeping their community very safe, but the unsolved arson spree haunted those with a global historical perspective.
“In Russia or Uzbekistan… and Syria, Jewish people had this,” Nektalov said.
The fires, according to one police source, should not necessarily be considered over. The arson pattern merely has been dormant since Decembe, echoing one homeowner in the neighborhood who fears the arsonist will return.
CBS2 reached out to the FDNY about the status to the arson investigation, but had not heard back late Wednesday.