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Man Charged In String Of Flushing, Queens Garbage Can Fires

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A man has been arrested on arson charges for allegedly setting fire to three garbage cans in Flushing, Queens last week.

Samer Shuaib, 36, of Queens, was charged with arson and criminal mischief in the incidents last week, police said.

The fires were all set between 11:49 p.m. and midnight on Wednesday, in garbage cans on the side of 69-02 Austin St., opposite 69-30 Austin St., and in front of 68-40 Austin St., police said.

No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

Police sources told CBS2 Shuaib told investigators he was intoxicated and in a bad mood at the time of the incidents. He told investigators walked past a dumpster and smelled something foul, so he decided to light it on fire, sources said.

Officers shopped surveillance video of a suspect around to local store keepers, and one of them recognized him but did not know his name, sources said. Officers put a surveillance post on the store, and Shuaib was arrested when he returned, sources said.

Shuaib has a prior arrest on rape allegations, sources said. He arrested on Nov. 6, 2011, on accusations that he attacked and raped a 30-year-old woman on Knickerbocker and Starr streets in Brooklyn, sources said.

The garbage can fires were not related to a series of suspected arson fires in houses in Forest Hills, Queens, police sources said.

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