A young Florida man apparently infatuated with public transit has managed -- on multiple occasions -- to steal buses and drive their routes picking up passengers.
"James Harris loves public buses so much, he stole one from a Miami-Dade depot last month and, wearing a genuine uniform, chauffeured unsuspecting fare-paying passengers around South Beach for hours, police and government officials said Thursday."
"When Harris, 18, was arrested a few days later, he posted bail -- and promptly stole a second bus."
"'He's a real transit freak,' said Derrick Gordon, assistant director for bus operations."
"The transit fanboy got an official shirt, jacket and hat from two actual drivers he had befriended, Gordon said. Both drivers have been suspended as the county moves to fire them. The hat was important -- he wore it pulled down low with big sunglasses, Gordon said, theorizing that may have helped him amble past security guards at the depot."
"He lifted the first bus on June 1, Miami-Dade police said, and quickly called another bus driver who was on the job. The driver, Larry Johnson, thought Harris was joking -- until he pulled up behind him in bus No. 5139 on Palm Avenue in Hialeah, according to a police report."
"Johnson told him to bring the bus back, but Harris instead drove the 40-footer east toward Aventura and then south for a beachfront roll down Collins Avenue."
"He spent the afternoon picking up 25-cent fares along the South Beach Local. The route, which circulates around Alton Road, 17th Street, Washington Avenue and South Pointe, is a popular line."