KEW GARDENS — A man with a three-decade history of stealing subway trains was sentenced to up to five years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to stealing a Trailways bus in 2010, the Queens prosecutors said.
Darius McCollum, 48, who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, stole the bus from a depot in Hoboken, New Jersey where it was being serviced and then drove to Queens on Aug. 31, 2010. Police pulled over the bus at Hoover Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway, where they found McCollum sitting in the driver's seat.
McCollum, who lives on West 128th Street, gained notoriety as a teenager when he stole a crowded E train in 1981 and drove it down to the World Trade Center. Since then, he's been arrested more than 20 times for stealing, or trying to steal, transit trains and vehicles to take them on joyrides.
His lawyers had claimed that his obsession with public trains and public transportation was due to his untreated syndrome.
McCollum was convicted in 2006 for attempting to steal a Long Island Rail Road train in 2005.
He pleaded guilty earlier this month in Queens Supreme Court to one count of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and was adjudicated as a predicate felony offender based on the 2006 conviction.
His lawyer did not return an immediate request for comment.