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The Bobster
03-19-2016, 08:07 AM
http://nypost.com/2016/03/18/mta-may-want-compensation-after-serial-transit-thief-scores-movie-deal/

MTA may want compensation after serial transit thief scores movie deal
By Philip Messing
March 18, 2016 | 11:44pm

https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/transit.jpg?quality=100&strip=all&w=664&h=441&crop=1
Darius McCollum after his latest arrest in Nov. 2015. Photo: Dennis A. Clark


Hollywood has come calling for the transit fanatic who has spent decades stealing buses and subway trains — but MTA board members want him to fork over the money he got to sell his story.

The board will meet next week to determine whether Darius McCollum, 50, violated the state’s “Son of Sam” law that prevents felons from profiting from their criminal activity.

McCollum sold the rights to his life story to a production company for an undisclosed sum, and shooting for the film “Train Man” is expected to start this fall.

The movie is expected to star Julia Roberts as Sally Butler, McCollum’s public defender and chief advocate who finds out that he suffers from Asperger’s syndrome :rolleyes:, a form of autism.

McCollum grew up in East Elmhurst, Queens, and developed a fascination with transit as a boy.

His first arrest came in 1981, when, at age 15, he drove an E train six stops to the World Trade Center.

He has been arrested some 30 times since, leading to multiple prison terms for grand larceny, burglary and other crimes.

Eric Robinson, a producer at the Gotham Group, acknowledged signing McCollum and Butler to rights agreements for their stories.

Several MTA board members told The Post that they would investigate what legal steps could be taken against McCollum.

“Certainly, the MTA has suffered considerable expense and damages as a result of his past fascination with stealing our equipment,” said Allen Cappelli, a lawyer and board member. “The MTA should be able to receive compensation from him under the Son of Sam law.”

Charles Moerdler, another MTA board member, vowed, “I will raise this with the transit committee.”

And board member Andrew Alpert, who represents the New York City Transit Riders Council, fumed, “This is too much! Glorify a train/bus thief?”

McCollum was last nabbed in November for taking a Greyhound bus on a joy ride from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Brooklyn.

“The next time, I’m taking a plane,” he told cops then.

He remains imprisoned on Rikers Island, unable to make $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond. He is next due in court Monday.