A homeless woman was arrested Sunday and charged with starting fires in at least 10 different incidents in Nassau County in March, April and May — including one in an apartment hallway, one on a residential porch and another in a day care center, Nassau police said.
Police said Melanie Nieves, 24, “was observed on video” lighting a fire against the rear of the building at Sam’s Caribbean Marketplace on Hempstead Turnpike in West Hempstead and was arrested by responding officers after a review of the surveillance video around 1 a.m. Sunday.
Subsequent investigation by Arson Bomb Squad detectives then connected Nieves to a rash of fires since March.
Police said Nieves was also tied to these fires: Sunrise Car Wash, 1820 Sunrise Hwy., Merrick, March 28; a residential garbage fire on Central Boulevard, Merrick, March 28; an apartment hallway fire on Hempstead Turnpike, West Hempstead, April 14; a day care center fire, 175 Warner Ave., Roslyn, April 30; a residential garbage fire on Main Street, Roslyn, April 30; a florist shop fire, 535 Hempstead Tpke., West Hempstead, May 17; a nail salon trash fire, 493 Hempstead Tpke., West Hempstead, May 17; a trash fire at the Mahrose Salon, 507 Hempstead Tpke., West Hempstead, May 17; and, a residential porch fire on,Parker Avenue, West Hempstead, May 17.
Details of each specific incident were not immediately available Monday.
Police said Nieves was charged with two counts of second-degree arson, six counts of third-degree arson and three counts of fifth-degree arson. She is scheduled for arraignment Monday in Mineola.