101 CO: Van Thefts Hit Rockaway
A pattern that has been occurring throughout the city has found its way to Rockaway, says the commanding officer of the Far Rockaway precinct, who said recently, “It really hadn’t hit the Rockaways until last week, and it hit us hard.”
What he was talking about were Econoline vans, which have been vanishing with disturbing regularity throughout the city.
During the 101 Precinct Community Council meeting on August 11, Captain Michael Lipetri told community members that “ We saw 10 Econoline vans stolen in one week in the 101, and that’s a huge number for the 101.”
In June, the Wall Street Journal reported on a memo it had obtained from the NYPD, concerning stolen cars in the city. According to the newspaper during the last four weeks in May, the Ford Econoline, with 51 stolen vehicles; came in second only to the Nissan Maxima, which had 54 vehicles stolen.
The WSJ report said the memo suggested that the “high number of Econoline van thefts are associated with the ‘dollar van’ industry, unlicensed taxi services that operate mainly in the poor neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.” Lipetri told residents that he has put together plans to combat the thefts but he needs the owners of the vans to “help out and lock them up. Keep your eyes [open]. Look out for your neighbor or your self and hopefully we’ll catch them.”