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Three Vans Stolen on Riverside Drive, Police Say

By Emily Frost | April 18, 2014 9:34am
 Dodge Caravans have been a popular target for thieves on the Upper West Side. 
Dodge Caravans have been a popular target for thieves on the Upper West Side. 
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Getty Images/Bill Pugliano

UPPER WEST SIDE — Three vans parked along Riverside Drive between West 92nd Street and West 102nd Street were stolen last month, police said. 

Two Dodge Caravans and a Plymouth Voyager were stolen along the strip between March 24 and March 31, said Capt. Marlon Larin, commanding officer of the 24th Precinct. 

Officers at the adjacent 20th Precinct have called the Dodge Caravan a "hot car," citing a pattern in which this particular model has been stolen repeatedly. 

"We do have our patrols out at night," Larin said. "They will be specifically looking at these minivans."

Officers at the 20th Precinct have said they believe the vans are stolen because they can be used to easily transport stolen motorcycles, but Larin had a different theory. 

"There may be a hot black market for them in parts," he said. 

Other notable crimes in the 24th Precinct include: 

► Lockers at the New York Sports Club on Broadway between West 94th and 95th streets were broken into four times over the past month after their locks were picked, police said. Larin said thieves can open a combination lock in seconds simply by using a piece of metal. He advised members not to store any valuables in gym lockers. The club declined to comment.

► A string of thefts hit an Amsterdam Avenue hostel last month, police said. There were four separate thefts inside Hosteling International, a youth hostel on Amsterdam Avenue between West 103rd and West 104th streets, between March 23 and 30, according to police. One laptop, two tablets and one airline ticket were stolen.

Police have not determined whether it was the work of one or multiple thieves, but they believe the perpetrator was staying at the hostel.

"It may be that [the guests are] falsifying these claims so that when they get back to their country they’ll get reimbursed," Larin said.

The hostel did not return request for comment.