Charles James Jr. of New Brighton, NY, test-drove an $88,000 BMW 7-Series, and apparently liked the car so much, he kept it.
About two weeks later, James, 38, a former corrections officer who had been given the car keys during a promotional event by a BMW dealer in Huntington, Long Island, was arrested on Staten Island while tooling around in the swanky sedan, says The Staten Island Advance.
“The defendant took this car with no intention of ever bringing it back,” says Assistant District Attorney Matthew Blum.
James had signed up to test-drive the car during an event in which BMW donated $1 to breast cancer research for every mile cars were driven. Drivers agreed to follow assigned routes of about 15 miles. They were told to return the cars.
The event manager testified that James' car was the only one never returned in the history of the 10-year-old event.
James was charged with a felony count of stolen-property possession. His defense lawyer contends James, who provided the dealership with a copy of his driver's license and other information, did not steal the car, but “thought he was helping out a breast-cancer (research) promotion. No good deed goes unpunished.”
In March, James was convicted of criminally possessing a $90,000 Mercedes-Benz that had been reported stolen from a Manhattan street.
No word on what good cause he was trying to help out in that case.