A Manhattan man apparently wanted the Big Apple’s favorite newspaper all to himself Friday, ripping off a New York Post delivery van and taking it on a wild joyride across the city, police said.
Driver David Lane, 49, had already eyed a man acting suspiciously when he hopped out of his van to drop off a batch of papers near Grand Central Station at around 3:20 a.m., he said.
“I was just a few feet away when suddenly my van started revving,” Lane recalled. “He must have hopped right in and then he took right off,” he said.
“At first he was driving pretty slow, but he was swerving all over the place,” he said.
Unable to call the police because his phone was in the stolen van, Lane instead stopped a CitiBike worker and asked for help.
“I said, ‘My man, this guy just stole my truck,’ and he let me get in so we could follow it,” Lane said, with the stranger also lending him his phone so he could call 911.
“We started following it up Park [Avenue] but soon lost him — he went up 40th in the wrong direction, was running lights,” Lane said. “We lost him because he was driving like a maniac.
“And those Post vehicles really go — they may be for deliveries, but they go pretty good,” he said of the crook who raced off at high speed, with cops in hot pursuit.
The NYPD confirmed to The Post that at least two squad cars were hit — one near City Hall and the other on 14th Street as the pursuit went across lower Manhattan. No serious damage or injuries were reported, just a complaint of “pain,” a spokesman said.
At least one other Post delivery van was also pulled over after being mistaken for the stolen truck, Lane said.
The alleged van thief parked the ride in front of his home on East 39th Street off Lexington Ave, where cops busted the 29-year-old suspect, with charges pending, the NYPD spokesman said.
The Post’s van was delivered back to Lane.
“It was damaged real bad,” said Lane, who has delivered the Post in the city for 17 years.
“It was quite the night — I normally only see three or four people out during most shifts,” he said.
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