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Fake New York transit worker pleads guilty

(The Associated Press circulated the following article on February 24.)

NEW YORK -- A man who has been arrested repeatedly for pretending to be a transit worker pleaded guilty Thursday to trying to steal a locomotive, prosecutors said.

In June, Darius McCollum, 39, went into a Long Island Rail Road yard, posed as a safety consultant and asked how to operate a new type of engine that had just been delivered, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a news release.

McCollum later was found with stolen keys, including one used to operate the new locomotive, Brown said.

He pleaded guilty to third-degree attempted grand larceny and faces up to three years in prison when he is sentenced March 28. A telephone message left at the office of his lawyer was not immediately returned.

McCollum has been arrested 20 times for illegally posing as a subway motorman, bus driver or transit token taker. When he was arrested in the June incident, he was on parole after serving prison time for his last arrest.

Friday, February 25, 2005

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