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Downtown Citi Bike Thief Caught, Police Say

By Andrea Swalec on July 17, 2013 8:35am 

 A thief swiped a Citi Bike from the 8 River Terrace Citi Bike dock on July 10, 2013, police said.
A thief swiped a Citi Bike from the 8 River Terrace Citi Bike dock on July 10, 2013, police said.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

BATTERY PARK CITY — A man wrested a Citi Bike free of a Lower Manhattan docking station and walked away with it early on the morning of July 10, but he was quickly arrested by cops who saw it all, police said.

Rafael Vasquez, 38, yanked at more than 10 Citi Bikes at the bike share dock near 8 River Terrace after 1 a.m., police said. When one blue bike came loose from the station, Vasquez walked away with it, according to cops. A 1st Precinct officer in uniform then cuffed him.

Vasquez's court-appointed lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For allegedly trying to swipe the $1,200 bike, Vasquez was hit with misdemeanor charges for petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. He was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on July 10 and released, court records show.

Vasquez is due back in court Sept. 12.

Two teens were arrested on July 3 for swiping a Citi Bike just a block away, near 200 North End Ave.

The bike share program, which launched on Memorial Day, did not immediately comment on the July 10 theft.

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