A Staten Island man was arrested for allegedly stealing a MTA bus from the St. George Ferry Terminal on Friday. He was also arrested two years ago for committing the same exact crime in the same place.
A NYPD spokesperson told Gothamist that Nickolas Elias allegedly stole a city bus from the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island on Friday morning, sometime between midnight and 2:30 a.m. Officers found Elias and the bus on Port Richmond Avenue and Church Street, about four miles away from the bus terminal. Police say the bus had received "minor damage" on its right side.
Elias was charged with grand larceny auto and criminal mischief.
In 2014, he was also arrested for stealing a bus from the St. George Ferry Terminal. The bus was recovered about 1.6 miles from the terminal. Elias pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after the first bus theft and is on probation until 2018, according to the News.
"I want to be a bus driver... I was going to return the bus when I was done," Elias allegedly told police after the first bus theft.
His foster father told the Daily News that he was "obsessed" with buses. "He tried stealing a bus before, but the police caught him just in time," he said. Elias's friend Corey Pearson told the News that he rides buses back and forth constantly—"He knows all the drivers. He's always hanging by the bus depot," Pearson said.
Earlier this year, a different Staten Island man stole and crashed an MTA bus. Mario Cassanova, 33, boarded a parked bus while the driver was conducting an inspection, threatened the driver, and drove the bus for a few blocks before crashing it into several vehicles and a light pole.