He’s famous for his obsession with the subway, but mass-transit menace Darius McCollum says he loves buses so much he has stolen 150 of them in the last decade.
During an exclusive jailhouse interview two days after he was busted with a hot Trailways coach, McCollum talked about the “thrill” he gets from big wheels.
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“That’s why I love the city so much – so many trains, so many buses,” he said Thursday. “I don’t know what to do with myself.”
He has been arrested 27 times, but McCollum says he has gotten away with far more transit crimes and has commandeered scores of buses unguarded at a New Jersey depot.
He took them for joyrides, gave lifts to his friends and once cruised as far as North Carolina – always returning the vehicles without anyone suspecting a thing.
“Sometimes, I’d just go and get a Big Mac,” he said.
McCollum, 45, who suffers from a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome, admits he has a problem but insists his stealing spree has a purpose.
“If I can get away with it, anyone can,” said McCollum. “They should’ve been smarter.”
He suggested he could have a future in law enforcement or mass-transit security, unlikely for someone who spent two years in prison for trying to swipe a 60-ton locomotive.
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“The perfect job for me would be counterterrorism,” he said. “I could teach them how to stop stuff like this from happening.”
McCollum is looking at a return to prison after his last caper on Tuesday, when he slipped in and out of the bus depot in Hoboken, N.J., and took the Trailways.
He says he drove it to the Hotel Pennsylvania on W. 33rd St. and picked up unsuspecting flight attendants for a free ride to Kennedy Airport.
“I’m a bus driver,” he told the clueless group.
Cops stopped him on the Van Wyck Expressway as he was rushing back to Jersey to return the bus before anyone noticed it was gone.
Charged with grand larceny auto and possession of stolen property, he’s being held at the city jail barge in the Bronx. He could face up to 15 years behind bars.