WEIRD NEWS
07/18/2011 06:50 pm ET | Updated Sep 17, 2011

Justin Durbin, 'Bentley Bandit,' Arrested In Louisiana After Alleged Car Theft Spree (VIDEO)

He drove it like he stole it. Then he crashed it and got arrested.

After months of brazen luxury car thefts in more than half a dozen states, law enforcement officials say they finally captured the so-called "Bentley Bandit" -- a thief who traveled the country tricking car dealerships into letting him drive away with flashy vehicles like a Mercedes-Benz and a Bentley.

Investigators have identified the suspect as 22-year-old Oklahoma native Justin Durbin.

Durbin -- who was wanted in at least nine jurisdictions from Arizona to Florida on charges including grand theft auto, larceny, burglary, fraud and probation violation -- was apprehended on July 15 after a high-speed chase in a stolen Bentley Continental GT outfitted with a pilfered vanity license plate reading "CALL 911."

"He wasn't pulled over -- he wrecked. And after he wrecked, he bailed out of the car and there was a four to six-hour foot pursuit," Deputy U.S. Marshal Corey Britt told The Huffington Post.

Louisiana State Police, working alongside deputies from the U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force, Louisiana National Guard helicopters and bloodhounds from a nearby jail, took the suspect into custody on Trousdale Road in Sulphur, La.

When officers surrounded Durbin, he put his hands up and said, "It's me," according to a U.S. Marshals press release.

The day before, Durbin had outrun police in the 2007 luxury vehicle, which had been stolen from a dealership in Naples, Fla., in July, according to The Daily Herald.

The arrest caps off a marathon crime spree that kicked into high gear earlier this year, according to law enforcement officials. Investigators believe the suspect committed some of his thefts by arriving at a luxury car dealership driving a flashy car. Once there, he would allegedly ask to test drive an even fancier vehicle so he could show it to his father before making a purchase. Then the "Bentley Bandit" would drive off -- and the costly car would reappear across the country, abandoned at a dealership where another pricy vehicle had just gone missing.

After the Bentley went missing in Florida, police in Naples received a tip that the suspect was in Louisiana. That's when law enforcement pounced.

"He ended up here and we're just happy that we got him before he went somewhere else," Britt said.

Britt says he's pleased the suspect is in custody -- but officers weren't looking forward to chasing the stolen vehicle.

"Vehicle pursuits are not an optimal way to arrest someone," he said. "It's very difficult when we're chasing a vehicle that goes 200 miles per hour."

Durbin is being held on $31,000 bond by Louisiana State Police on charges of possession of stolen property, aggravated flight from an officer and possession of a stolen license plate -- all stemming from the chase and arrest in the city of Sulphur.

The details on previous charges he faces from elsewhere in the country are "at the discretion of the district attorney," Louisiana State Police Sgt. James Anderson told The Huffington Post.

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