‘Bentley Bandit’ Caught in Louisiana After Crash

July 18, 2011

Authorities say a fugitive dubbed the “Bentley Bandit” because of accusations he stole luxury cars is being held without bond in a southwest Louisiana jail after wrecking a 2007 Bentley reported stolen from a Florida dealership. He was wanted in at least seven states.

When police tracked him down about six hours after the wreck, 22-year-old Justin William Durbin of Altus, Okla., “simply put his hands in the air and said, ‘It’s me’,” Deputy U.S. Marshal Corey Britt of the Fugitive Task Force said in a news release Friday.

The license plate on the wrecked luxury car read “Call 911.”

The car was stolen in Naples, Fla., and the plate had been stolen separately, authorities said. Britt said Durbin was wanted in at least seven states. Those didn’t include Illinois or Missouri, where authorities say he stole the two cars.

Florida authorities had told Louisiana State Police late Wednesday that Durbin and the most recently stolen Bentley were in Lafayette, where a warrant for his arrest had been sworn out last year, Britt said.

They found the car and chased it, but it got away. On Thursday, state troopers and U.S. marshals tracked the car to a Lake Charles parking lot and chased it to nearby Sulphur, where it crashed, Britt said in a news release Friday. Helicopters from several agencies and bloodhounds from a nearby state prison helped track Durbin, who was caught about 9:45 p.m.

Durbin was booked on traffic violations, aggravated flight, possession of stolen things and possession of a stolen license plate, and held without bond as a fugitive.

Jail records didn’t indicate whether he had a lawyer.

Britt said he’s wanted in other states on charges including probation violation, grand theft auto, larceny, burglary and fraud. Those jurisdictions include Baton Rouge; Mount Pleasant, S.C.; Prince Georges County, Md.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Escambia County, Fla.; Hamilton County, Ind.; and Pima County, Ariz.

“His ruse is he drives in with a very nice looking car and will come in, test-drive a similar or ever-more expensive vehicle and say that he wants to have his father take a look,” Naperville Police Sgt. Gregg Bell told the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill., in June.

Bell told the paper he drove a 2003 Mercedes SL 500 into a Naperville dealership and drove off in a 2003 Mercees SL 55 AMG – and left that car in suburban St. Louis, Mo., where he took off in a Mercedes SUV later found in a Naples, Fla., parking garage.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.