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Staten Island man arrested after taking New York City bus for joyride

"I was going to return the bus when I was done."
By Aileen Graef   |   June 17, 2014 at 2:05 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, June 17 (UPI) -- Nickolas Ellias of Staten Island stole a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus from the St. George Ferry Terminal early Monday morning and drove it 1.6 miles to his neighborhood.

Ellias took the bus while the driver was on a break before witnesses called police to say they saw a young man driving the vehicle. The MTA then used bus-tracking technology to locate the bus parked two blocks from Ellias' home. Authorities arrested Ellias around 2 a.m.

The friend who was with him recorded the crime and posted it on Facebook.

Ellias reportedly told police that he wants to be a bus driver and "was going to return the bus when I was done."

"I'm not surprised he did this," said Santiago Rivera, Ellias' foster father. "He tried stealing a bus before, but the police caught him just in time. He's obsessed with buses. He doesn't learn."

Cory Pearson, a friend of Ellias, described him as a happy but "troubled kid" and noted that Elias has mental health issues.

Ellias has been charged with grand larceny and is being held on $10,000 bail.

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
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