Atlanta police say they  are investigating a recent uptick in the thefts of vans in Buckhead.

Atlanta police Capt. H.C. Ewing of the Zone 2 precinct told Buckhead residents during the NPU-B meeting June 7 that van thefts were increasing despite otherwise declining crime numbers in the area.  It is believed that criminals may be targeting vans specifically for use in the commission of future crimes.

“We’ve had a rash of vans stolen of late, and that tells us that something is getting ready to happen,” Ewing said.  “Last year it was smash and grabs [robberies].  They were taking pickup trucks and backing them into stores or stealing ATM machines.  So we’re on the lookout for that.”

In stepping up efforts to anticipate a possible wave of snatch-and-grab robberies, police are paying closer attention to vans.

“If you’re driving a van late at night you may get stopped,” Ewing warned residents.  “Don’t take it personal.”

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.