A 23-year-old man is accused of going from store to store setting clothing and other goods on fire at a string of stores, including Macy's, Target and Old Navy, in two Queens malls between Thursday and Monday, police say.
The suspect, Derreck Sumair, was arrested after 12 fires were set at stores in the Rego Center and Queens Center malls on Thursday, Sunday and Monday, police say. No one was injured in the small fires, but inventory was damaged and the stores affected Monday were evacuated.
The first fire was set Thursday at a Sears in Rego Center Mall, followed by more at the mall on Sunday.
On Monday, five fires were set, police say. The first was at the Macy's in Queens Center Mall, where employees doused flames before they got out of control. Then, about 30 minutes later, there were four fires at the other shopping center.
The stores included Staples, JCPenney, Best Buy, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Police arrested Sumair as he was leaving Rego Center Mall Monday afternoon. Police say he matched the description of a man who was caught on surveillance camera footage setting a fire at a Staples on Sunday.
Sumair, of Queens, is charged with arson, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment, police say. Investigators say he has been linked to at least six or seven of the fires. It's not clear if he has an attorney.
All of the fires were small and police don't know exactly how they were started. The suspect may have used a match, police say.