(NEW YORK) — A man suspected of five New York City firebomb attacks was arrested Tuesday by cops who staked out a vehicle overnight awaiting the return of its owner.
The attacks, which took place Sunday evening, targeted an Islamic center, a Hindu temple, a bodega, and two private homes.
According to law enforcement officials, the suspect, who was not immediately identified, made statements that appear to implicate him in at least some of the bombings, but stopped short of a confession in the first rounds of interrogation.
Detectives, relying on statements from witnesses and grainy surveillance video, determined the suspected bomber drove a late model car with Virginia license plates. Based on the wheels and basic wheel covers, Auto Crime unit detectives who viewed the video were able to conclude it was probably a rental car.
When a gray four-door Buick Regal with cheap wheel covers and Virginia plates was discovered in Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. around midnight, police patiently waited for its driver to appear.
When he did early Tuesday morning, he was taken into custody. Officials said that the suspect matches the description of the suspected bomber.
According to police, the motives in the five bombings — which are currently categorized as possible hate crimes because of the religious nature of at least two of the locations bombed — remain unclear.
None of the attacks caused any injuries, but flames that erupted at one of the homes took more than 60 firefighters about 40 minutes to control. The other home attacked, which also serves as a Hindu temple, was hit by two Molotov cocktails thrown from a van which sped away. Those bottles fizzled out. Officials said they are investigating whether all of the bombing locations had links to the Guyanese community and/or were known to the suspect.
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