Crimetracker - School Bus Battery Thefts

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Buses in one Kansas school district were stopped in their tracks after thieves decided to break into the bus yard. It happened not once, but twice in Douglass.

Douglass school district transportation director Robert Young and his bus drivers felt helpless that early morning in April when three of their buses wouldn’t start. Someone had stolen the batteries.

"He hauls fifty kids on the bus, scrambling around, trying to find a battery to fit the bus,” says Young. “The kids were late to school."

Four months later, in August, the thieves struck again, stealing more batteries and shutting down two buses.

“People are desperate,” says Douglass School Superintendent Rob Reynolds.

"I don't understand it, don't understand it,” says Douglass bus driver Sarah Foster. “Why someone would want to tear up something that's not theirs; no excuse for it."

The school district has spent thousands of dollars on security and lighting for the bus yard, hoping to keep thieves from hitting again. And Douglass school leaders have also spent precious money to replace the stolen batteries.

Law enforcement agencies are working with local recycling stores, keeping a close eye out for stolen batteries.

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