For months, alleged “Bentley Bandit” Justin Durbin has been a wanted man.
Now the question becomes who wants him the most.
Durbin, the 22-year-old Oklahoma native who faces charges in nine states from at least 11 different agencies, including the Naples Police Department for theft of a $97,000 Bentley, will likely be extradited after he was arrested Thursday in Louisiana. His next destination will likely depend on which prosecuting agency with a strong case against Durbin requests extradition the fastest.
“Whoever wants him first will probably get him first,” said Cynthia Killingsworth, first assistant district attorney in Calcasieu Parish, where Durbin was arrested.
Durbin is wanted in states across the country, stretching from Arizona to Indiana to Florida. The charges range from auto theft to fraud to larceny.
Authorities said they found Durbin after a six-hour manhunt started when Durbin ran the stolen Bentley off a Lake Charles, La., road. He had his first court proceedings Tuesday in Calcasieu Parish, appearing before a court magistrate.
Durbin is accused of stealing at least four luxury cars, including the Bentley from Ambassador Auto Sales, 3164 Davis Blvd., East Naples. The dealership’s staff suspect Durbin stole a set of spare keys during a test drive, lured a salesman away from the car and then climbed into the driver’s seat and sped off.
Naples police said they will try to extradite Durbin to face a first-degree grand theft charge, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
“I’m not sure what order it’s going to go in,” Naples Police Lt. John Barkley said. “All we know is he has to answer to the Louisiana charges first. But he’s got those charges all over the place.”
Prosecutors will be responsible for the extradition process. Officials from the 20th Circuit State Attorney’s Office could not comment because formal charges haven’t been filed.
Killingsworth said her office hasn’t been contacted by any agencies about extraditing Durbin. The agency bringing in Durbin would be responsible for the transportation costs.
Calcasieu Parish officials could allow extradition because Durbin’s pending charges in other states carry greater penalties, Killingsworth said. Durbin’s most serious charge in Calcasieu Parish is illegal possession of stolen items, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
“If there is a state that has a heavier need to prosecute, or has a more violent crime, or a more serious crime, those are taken into consideration before anybody goes anywhere,” Killingsworth said. “If they call me and say ‘We want this guy bad,’ I’ll say ‘Have at it.’”
While authories say Durbin’s Bentley theft was his most expensive heist, other agencies could make the first request to extradite Durbin. Among those counties with the biggest cases against Durbin:
n DuPage County, Ill., where he faces three felony counts for allegedly stealing a 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55 from a local dealership.
n Hamilton County, Ind., where he faces one count of auto theft for allegedly swiping a 2003 Mercedes-Benz.
n St. Charles County, Mo., where authorities say he stole a 2011 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG from a dealership.
n Alachua County, Fla., where he faces nine felony charges for fraud, larceny and dealing stolen property.
“I would imagine that whoever files the first motion is probably going to be the winner,” said Spencer Mann, chief investigator for the State Attorney Office’s 8th Judicial District, which covers Alachua County. Mann said no other agencies have contacted Alachua County about Durbin’s arrest.
Garrett Rick, an Ambassador Auto Sales employee, said after Durbin’s arrest that he’s not concerned about when Durbin will face a judge in Collier County. Staff from Ambassador Auto Sales expect the Bentley back in Naples on Thursday. The car was muddied after police said Durbin ran it off the road, with no serious damage.
“Honestly I’m just happy we got the car back,” Rick said. “He’s got enough problems on his plate.”