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Police: Coded Message Left Behind At Arson In Forest Hills Was A 'Mislead'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police are continuing their hunt for a suspect behind several fires at homes under construction in Forest Hills after a coded message was left behind at a fire last week.

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said authorities cracked the coded message left at a home on 67th Drive, which included the name of a man who was suggested to be behind the crimes, 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reported.

"It seemed that way, the name that he came up with seemed to be pointing us in that direction," Boyce said.

But after speaking with the individual, Boyce said they believe the man is not the arsonist.

"That's why I called it a mislead. We don't believe this individual is the person that we're looking for," Boyce said.

There have been seven torched homes in the span of six weeks in the Queens neighborhood, 1010 WINS' Al Jones reported.

"We don't want to see anyone get hurt, we don't want to see anyone get killed, and we're taking it very seriously," said Deputy Inspector Judith Harrison, commanding officer at the 112th Precinct.

One resident said perhaps the arsonist has something against big houses.

"Some people get jealous from the neighborhood, because the neighborhood is getting better and better," said Joseph.

Last week, police released surveillance video of the suspect inside one of the homes that was lit on fire.

Harrison said they've beefed up patrols in the area and urged anyone who sees something suspicious to call 911.

Anyone with information can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 77-TIPS (8477). You can also submit a tip by logging onto Crime Stoppers website or text a tip to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.

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