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February 20, 2019

Serial Midtown arsonist was busted after returning to the scene of one of his fires, feds say

August 10, 2018
Jamal Deese, 24, is led out of the NYPD’s 6th Precinct stationhouse by an Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agent and an FDNY Fire Marshal Wednesday night. (Sam Costanza / for New York Daily News)

A Brooklyn man who set more than a dozen small fires in Midtown returned to the scene of one of his arsons, where police were waiting for him, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

On Wednesday, 24-year-old Jamal Deese showed up at the Five Guys burger joint on W. 14th St. at Sixth Ave., a day after setting a trashcan fire inside, prosecutors said.

Law enforcement officials followed him inside and said they wanted to talk to him, and he asked if their questions had anything to do with the arson spree, according to a federal complaint. After that, he admitted to the fires, authorities said.

The feds have linked him to 10 restaurant fires across Midtown Manhattan, and four trashcan blazes at Penn Station between Sunday and Tuesday.

He’s charged federally because the fires interfered with commerce, according to the criminal complaint.

Deese faces four federal arson charges, which each carry a possible five to 20 year prison sentence. He’s under house arrest as he awaits prosecution.

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