BY SUZANNE MONTEVERDI
A man charged with setting rubbish fires in Forest Hills on the night of Dec. 9 is not suspected in a separate pattern of arson fires at residential sites around the area, according to police.
Samer Shuaib, a 36-year-old Forest Hills resident, has been apprehended after lighting trash fires between 11:49 p.m. and midnight at three locations on Austin Street.
There were no injuries reported in any of the incidents, authorities said.
Shuaib was charged with three counts of criminal mischief in the second degree, three counts of arson in the fourth degree, and three counts of reckless endangerment in the second degree.
Police said they are currently unsure of a motive; however, the crimes do not appear to be connected to the recent string of fires at residential construction sites in Forest Hills. The individual was last spotted on surveillance video pulling a handgun out of his sock.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477), or submit tips via the Crime Stoppers website or a text message sent to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.