- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2015

A Greyhound bus was stolen Wednesday from the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan by Darius McCollum, a 50-year-old New York resident who has been arrested dozens of times since the 1980s for crimes targeting mass transit, police said.

Mr. McCollum took the bus from the midtown depot Wednesday afternoon and was behind the wheel for about two hours before being apprehended in Brooklyn, authorities said. Once caught, he displayed to officers a supposed counter-terrorism shield and identification card, a local CBS News affiliate reported. No passengers were on board.

Police said they were able to catch the serial transit thief by honing in on the GPS signal broadcast by the bus, giving way to what the Guardian reported as being McCollum’s 30th arrest in 34 years.

Mr. McCollum as a teenager hijacked a subway car in 1981 and since then has been arrested more than two dozen times for similar crimes involving trains and buses. In 2010, he stole a private bus from terminal in Hoboken, New Jersey, and drove it to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

“I’m stealing a plane next,” he allegedly told a detective after being caught this week, The New York Times reported.

Mr. McCollum was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on charges of grand larceny and criminal impersonation of a police officer, but his attorney told reporters he shouldn’t serve any more time, but should work with authorities instead to help identify weaknesses within the city’s transportation system, CBS reported.

“He walked with them through the system, showing them where things were vulnerable. And obviously, he still knows them,” the attorney, Sally Butler, told the New York Post. “If anyone can walk up in Port Authority and steal a bus, do you think we need some assistance?

“The city should be embarrassed if these allegations are true. Shame on them,” the attorney added. “What if they acknowledge what skill he has and utilize it? Here’s a guy that obviously they need some help from, and instead, he’s going to be sitting in Rikers Island for a couple years wasting everyone’s money.”

But according to one veteran bus driver, compromising the transit system’s security measures isn’t all that difficult.

“If he looks legit, and has an identification, and shows them some kind of fake ID, it’s pretty much easy to get in. If the driver is not securing his bus it’s pretty easy to get into a bus and start it,” the driver told CBS on condition of anonymity.

In a statement, Greyhound said it is “fully cooperating with local authorities on their investigation and conducting an internal investigation of our own to obtain additional details regarding this incident.”

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