What to Know
- A transit thief who spent decades impersonating employees while taking subways, buses on joyrides will be committed to lock-down facility
- This comes after a Brooklyn judge ruled Darius McCollum dangerously mentally ill Friday after being arrested 30 times for his thefts
- McCollum, who is in his 50s and on the autism spectrum, has been obsessed with mass transit since he was a child
A notorious serial transit thief who has spent decades impersonating employees while taking subways and buses for joyrides will be committed to a lock-down facility after a Brooklyn judge deemed him to be dangerously mentally ill Friday.
Darius McCollum has become New York City’s notorious transit thief after having been arrested 30 times for stealing buses and trains in the Big Apple since he was 15.
McCollum, who is in his 50s and on the autism spectrum, has been obsessed with mass transit since he was a child.
He was last arrested in 2015 for stealing an empty Greyhound bus and subsequently charged with criminal impersonation and grand larceny in his most recent arrest.
Though he has never hurt anyone or caused damage, McCollum faced a possible life prison term because he was a repeat offender.
In January, right before the start of his trial, McCollum pleaded not guilty by reason of a mental disease or defect. He was ordered to Kirby Psychiatric Hospital on Wards Island. Kirby has housed some of New York City’s most infamous and violent criminal patients, including the so-called cannibal killer and the Upper East Side butcher.
McCollum was hoping for outpatient treatment, arguing that he never hurt anyone or intended to do harm.
The Brooklyn DA’s office has repeatedly argued McCollum is dangerously mentally ill and a menace to society.
According to an I-Team report in May, two psychiatrists with the State Office of Mental Health recently examined McCollum and agreed he is not dangerously mentally ill or mentally ill under the law. The doctors recommended he be released into the community with supervision and services.