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Police: Stuyvesant man charged with taking RV from camp for people with disabilities

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    Matthew Vasquez
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    A John Deere recreational vehicle was reported stolen from Camp Stride, 2166 Route 203, Chatham, on May 11.
May 15, 2018 07:27 pm Updated: May 16, 2018 02:38 pm

CHATHAM — A Columbia County man is behind bars after he drove off with a utility vehicle from a camp for people and veterans with disabilities, police said Tuesday.

Matthew J. Vasquez, 21, of Stuyvesant, was charged Monday with third-degree burglary and third-degree grand larceny, both class D felonies, according to police.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office investigated the incident after receiving a tip from a Camp Stride employee Friday.

The employee told police someone broke into the storage garage and main building on the camp and a four-wheel drive John Deere Gator utility vehicle was missing, according to police.

Camp Stride is an organization that offers activities for people with disabilities and a retreat center for Wounded Warriors and their families, according to the camp’s website.

After police developed leads through social media, the all-terrain vehicle was found at a Stuyvesant home Monday.

Vasquez admitted stealing the vehicle while being questioned by investigators, according to police. Vasquez was familiar with the camp because he knew people who previously attended it, Lt. Wayne Lopez said.

Vazquez was sent to Columbia County Jail on $500 cash bail or $1,000 bond after his arraignment in Chatham Town Court.

“Cooperation between the public and law enforcement was the key in solving this case,” Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett said in a statement. “It takes everyone in the community to make it safe.”

The Columbia County District Attorney’s Office assisted in the investigation.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.