A federal contractor working for the FBI has been apprehended after allegedly stealing an FBI vehicle from bureau headquarters in Washington, D.C. The suspect, identified as John Worrell, was employed by an outside government contracting agency and assigned to FBI headquarters at the time of the incident. Prosecutors have revealed that Worrell drove the stolen dark green four-door Ford sedan to another FBI facility in Vienna, Virginia.
According to court documents, Worrell attempted to gain entry to the Vienna facility by displaying the credentials of the federal agent to whom the car was assigned. However, he was denied access as he lacked the necessary security cards. Undeterred, Worrell made a second attempt to enter the facility but was once again denied. He then spent approximately 45 minutes in the parking area before eventually providing his real identification to security officials, who promptly contacted the police.
During a consensual search of the FBI-issued vehicle, law enforcement officers discovered a loaded handgun magazine inside a fanny pack. The magazine belonged to the unnamed FBI agent who regularly drove the car. Notably, Worrell claimed to be unaware of the presence of any weapons in the vehicle.
In subsequent interviews with investigators, Worrell stated that he believed he had been receiving coded messages indicating that he was in danger. He claimed these messages appeared in various forms, including emails, stage whispering, and contextual clues over several weeks. Worrell expressed his intention to seek safety at a secure facility, which he believed the Vienna FBI facility would provide.
Court documents also revealed that limited parking at the FBI headquarters necessitates leaving keys inside parked vehicles to allow authorized personnel to move them as required. The unnamed agent’s credentials were also left inside the stolen vehicle. The FBI agent noticed the vehicle’s absence at 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, and security was alerted at 2:22 p.m., nearly two hours after security camera footage confirmed the car’s departure from headquarters.
Worrell admitted during the investigation that he did not have permission to use the stolen vehicle. It remains unclear whether he is still employed by the government contracting agency he worked for.
The FBI declined to comment on the matter, referring inquiries to court records. An attorney representing Worrell has yet to be identified. The suspect is currently in custody and will face a detention hearing on Friday.
This incident follows a previous carjacking involving an FBI agent in Washington, D.C., last year. The stolen vehicle was recovered within an hour, approximately one mile away from the site of the theft.