Stolen School Bus in Catoosa County Ends in an Arrest

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 2/05/2013 7:36 pm
Before the wheels go round and round on an early Sunday morning, it seems the wheels were already turning in a young man's mind, long before he found the spare key inside, and put his seat belt on.

James Leamon, with the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department, says, "Yeah, this guy, I think, is up to no good."

Little did he know, a camera was recording his 20 minute joy ride just after midnight, from the time he left Battlefield Primary to the time he got to Chattanooga Valley Elementary in Flintstone.

Oh, and even when he made that one stop in order to figure out how to close the door.

Leamon adds, "The only strange behavior was he had a white bag of some sort, a sack, he seems real concerned with that."

He actually held on to it for the majority of the ride.

Now, you may be wondering where the key was inside the bus, and why it was there to begin with.

Doug Suits, Director of Operations with Catoosa County Schools, says, "It's kind of in a console area hidden under some things. Sometimes the driver will leave it there for the substitute the next day."

But the policy has since changed.

Suits adds, "We've come up with some better means to get the keys to our substitutes."

Ultimately, the bus was never vandalized, just borrowed one might say.

Leamon says, "It's usually someone that needs to get somewhere else, and didn't want to walk."

But no matter what his motive was or how well he drove the bus, it is still a crime, a felony, actually.

Around five Tuesday night, Fort Oglethorpe Police confirmed they arrested a 19-year-old in this case, but his name has not yet been released.

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