Cops Seek Suspect Who Torched 15 Vehicles in Harlem

Detectives say the vehicle arsons appear to be random

View Comments ()



    Fourteen people woke up to find their cars torched by an arsonist in Harlem. But police say they have a lead. Tracie Strahan reports. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012)

    Police are looking for the suspect who set 15 vehicles on fire in Harlem, leaving charred hoods and shattered windshield glass in nearly a dozen locations throughout the neighborhood.      

    All the vehicles were torched within five hours on Tuesday, each on a different street. The first car was set on fire at 1:45 a.m., the last at 6:35 a.m.      

    Frank Silvestri was mostly concerned about parking on the right side of the street when he left his rented Mustang convertible on Bradhurst Avenue.

    "I get up to go get coffee and have a little breakfast ... and this is what I see," Silvestri said, pointing to the charred remains of his vehicle.

    Detectives say the vehicle arsons appear to be random, but residents say similiar crimes have happened in their neighborhood before.

    A witness told fire marshals he saw a man wearing a yellow hood with plastic bags on his hands. He was allegedly spotted lighting paper on fire before placing it under one of the burned vehicles.

    Police released surveillance video of the suspect.      

    They asked anyone with information about the incident to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.     

    Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anywhere, anytime