Suspected luxury car thief dubbed "Bentley Bandit" cruises count - KMOV.com

Suspected luxury car thief dubbed "Bentley Bandit" cruises country in stolen St. Charles car

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

(KMOV) -- Police across the country are comparing notes on a man they call a brazen car thief.

They say the 22-year-old is gallivanting around the country in luxury cars stolen from dealerships! Police tell me that his latest heist happened in Florida after he drove off a lot with a Mercedes in St. Charles.

At every stop, police say he also steals license plates. Before he rolled in to St. Charles, he allegedly swiped plates from a car in Clayton.

He's had a penchant for Mercedes, but this week police say he upgraded to a Bentley and earned the nickname "The Bentley Bandit!"

Police in Illinois have a warrant out for his arrest, and they're pending in at least three other cities.

It's the stuff movies are made of: a true confidence man, gaining salesmen's trust then conning them out of high-end cars.

"He knew the things to say," Nick Garulay, owner and president of Ambassador Auto Sales in Naples, Florida, says. "I mean, he's done this before. It was almost like a sport for this kid."

Police think he is who he says he is -- 22-year-old Justin Durbin from Oklahoma.

"I was in complete disbelief because this kid was well-dressed, seemed very well-to-do and played the part," Garulay says.

Police say the 22-year-old "all-American guy" spins a story like this: His dad's some big-wig, and he'll pay cash for the car so long as daddy dearest approves. When the dealer agrees to let Durbin take it for a test drive, he skips town.

"It turns out to be a little nationwide crime spree of stolen luxury vehicles," Lt. John Barkley at the Naples Police Department says.

It started with a 2003 Mercedes from Indianapolis. Police say Durbin then swapped the swank ride for another Mercedes in Naperville, then cruised on in to St. Charles. There, he ditched the hot wheels and made off with a new Mercedes SUV. A week later, police say Durbin resurfaced in Naples, this time -- upgrading to a Bentley, and always stealing license plates as he goes.

"Bentley is not a common everyday vehicle so he's going to have to be real careful where he places it or drives," Lt. Barkley says.

Police just hope he runs out of road... sometime... soon.

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