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Man steals idling car, gropes sleeping passenger, then sets vehicle on fire in Queens: NYPD

JAMAICA, Queens — Police are searching for a man who allegedly stole a car, grope a sleeping passenger in the backseat and then set the vehicle on fire in Queens.

The incident happened last Sunday, Aug. 28, about 2 a.m., according to police. A 29-year-old man left his car running in the vicinity of Springfield and Merrick boulevards when the suspect went in and drove away.

The car thief set the stolen vehicle on fire after groping the sleeping passenger in the backseat, police say. (NYPD)

The car thief set the stolen vehicle on fire after groping the sleeping passenger in the backseat, police say. (NYPD)

A 26-year-old woman, who was sleeping on the backseat, suddenly woke up, only to find the strange man groping her. Police said she fought him off and escaped the car near 135th Street and Farmers Boulevard.

The suspect then parked the car in front of 140-45 Coombs St. and set the car on fire before fleeing, police said.

The suspect is described as a bald man, 6-feet tall and 220 pounds. Police released surveillance video of the suspect.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577.