MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Roseville Police say they are holding a 14-year-old boy in custody after he stole a school bus Monday morning.
At 7:51 a.m., Roseville police officers were dispatched to a Shell gas station located on 2154 Dale St. in Roseville on the report of a stolen bus. There, police officers encountered an adult man who had taken the boy into custody for the theft of the Centerline Charter school bus.
Roseville Police Lt. Lorne Rosand says a Centerline bus driver left her bus at a Holiday gas station located on 1608 Rice St. and went in and got a cup of coffee.
“The suspect said he saw the bus abandoned for about 20 minutes, felt the need to return the bus back to Centerline Charter, got in the bus and drove it north and pulled into the Centerline Charter bus stop,” Rosand said.
As the bus was pulling in, a manager at Centerline Charter received a call from the bus driver whose bus was stolen, according to Rosand.
“The operations manager sees (the stolen) bus in the parking lot being driven in, confirms it’s (the stolen) bus, gets out and runs to his vehicle and radios to call the police because he’s now following the stolen bus,” Rosand said.
The boy then fled when he heard police being notified on the radio.
With the Centerline manager following closely, police say the boy traveled north on Rice Street, west on Country Road B2 and south on Dale Street where he encountered traffic.
“The youth went around traffic, tried to negotiate the fuel pumps at the Shell station but was unable to do so. He sideswiped the pumps, which disabled the bus and allowed the operations (manager) to take custody of the youth,” Rosand said.
Police said that’s when the boy started to cry and said he was just trying to return it to the bus station.
“In my 30 years of law enforcement, this is a first for me,” Rosand said. “I’ve never heard of a 14-year-old stealing a school bus, which is extremely unusual. We’re just very fortunate and lucky that no one was hurt during this ordeal.”
The boy is now in the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center in St. Paul. The boy could face a felony auto theft charge, which, if he is convicted, could result in five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
The incident remains under investigation.