The Man Who Steals Trains Strikes Again

How transit superthief Darius McCollum nabbed a Greyhound.

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“I’m going to steal an airplane next,” said Darius McCollum yesterday to the detectives arresting him for stealing a Greyhound bus. I suppose you have to admire a man who does what he thinks he was meant to do—unless what he thinks he was meant to do is wrest control of a train in which i’m traveling. Yesterday, 50-year-old folk-hero Darius McCollum was collared after nabbing an empty Greyhound—a somewhat new direction for a man most comfortable holding the brake handle of a MTA train.

50-year-old McCollum, guileless and reportedly autistic, is a man who steals trains. That is what he has been arrested for 28 times over the course of four decades, since the he hopped behind the controls of an E train at age 15. He has served many years in jail, and will likely go back there. McCollum doesn’t steal out of financial desperation; he seeks no compensation. He does it because feels he was meant to drive a train, or a bus, or a subway maintenance truck. I get it.

Yesterday, a Greyhound that had just arrived from Philadelphia went missing sometime before 1:30 pm. No one noticed it was gone until it was time to turn back to Philadelphia. That’s a testament to McCollum’s skill both as a driver and a thief. Two and half hours later, cops in Brooklyn saw a Greyhound with matching tags barrelling down Third Avenue, near the Gowanus Canal. They pulled the bus over (it was empty), and, as always, McCollum happily  surrendered.

We salute you, Darius McCollum, in having pursued your passion to drive transit vehicles. We salute you, but you should probably retire.