Volume 21, Number 44 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | March 13 - 19, 2009
Correction: The case of the missing minivan
A Downtown Express blotter item about a stolen 1997 Dodge Caravan last week had some incorrect information and the paper has since learned the victim has suspicions about who took his car outside his Tribeca home.
Because there was an error on the police report, last week’s item mistakenly said the victim waited one month to report the crime on Hubert St. Shaune Velazquez, in a phone interview, said his van, which was locked, was stolen sometime during a heavy snowstorm — between 10 p.m., Feb. 28 and the next morning.
Velazquez said he tried to report the crime the day he discovered his car was missing, but police suggested he wait to make sure it didn’t turn up in a tow pound. He filed the report the next day, March 2.
“I think the guy who stole it, may have sold it to me,” Velazquez said.
He has several reasons for his suspicions. Velazquez paid less than book value — about $1,500 for the car about three months ago. He found the seller on Craigslist and did not meet the owner, but a broker whom Velazquez thought was shady. Those instincts proved correct when Velazquez had the Caravan inspected and the mechanic told him the mileage had been rolled back. Since the car was stolen, he has seen a Craiglsit ad for a Dodge Caravan which looks to have the same sticker that was on his car.
Velazquez, now in his late 30s, has lived most of his life in Tribeca, where he and his family run an internet radio station, talkradio.net. He said car thefts are not a big problem in the neighborhood and having a 12-year-old car stolen so soon after he bought it raises more suspicions.
He is hoping the police investigate the crime a little more. He said he has a photocopy of the broker’s driver’s license and he is curious to know if the man has a record of car thefts.
— Josh Rogers