Darius McCollum, who has dozens of arrests related to stealing various forms of mass transit, was nabbed once again yesterday for allegedly stealing a Greyhound Bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. McCollum and the bus were found in Brooklyn.
The missing bus, which arrived from Philadelphia at 11 a.m., was discovered missing at about 1:30 p.m., before its 2:15 p.m. departure to Richmond, Virginia. It was then tracked to Brooklyn via GPS.
Police officers were alerted about the missing bus, and the Post reports two cops from the 78th Precinct "saw a bus barreling north on Third Avenue" near Union Street in Brooklyn "and pulled over the empty vehicle, which had plate numbers matching the ones they’d been given."
Sources told the Daily News that when he was arrested, McCollum said, "Next time I’m taking a plane."
McCollum's first brush of the law came in 1981 at age 15, when he commandeered an E train from 34th Street to World Trade Center "without the conductor or passengers reporting anything amiss." From the NY Times:
Since then, Mr. McCollum has stolen buses numerous times and, in one instance, dressed as a transit employee and managed to get inside the control room at the 57th Street subway station.
His exploits have been well-documented, making him something of a cult figure while also exhausting the good will of friends and supporters who tried to help him seek treatment or redirect his enthusiasm into something lawful. He worked for a time in a train museum but gave up that job. Mr. McCollum has spent about a third of his life in jail or in prison.
In 2008, McCollum's mother told the NY Times that he was autistic (his lawyers say he has Asperger's) and said she tried to convince him to stay out of trouble by living in North Carolina, but "he just loves New York. He knows the people in Transportation. And he goes up there to be around them."
McCollum recently wrote on Facebook, "By curiosity, I was wondering if there are any people out there who may like trains or are even just train buffs. Its a passion of mine."