Thieves target school bus batteries in Henry County - KMSP-TV

Thieves target school bus batteries in Henry County

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Authorities are searching for thieves who have stolen dozens of batteries from school buses in Henry County.

Investigators said that the thieves have taken 38 batteries from six different schools in the northern and central parts of Henry County.  One theft took place while a bus was parked at a driver's home.

The thefts have cost the school system around $5,000 and caused an array of other problems as crews scrambled to get buses rolling on school mornings. More than half of the system's 40,000 students rely on the buses for transportation.

"We can't keep all our buses in one centralized location because of the size of the district, so they have to be scattered throughout the district to make easy access," said J.D. Hardin of Henry County Schools. "Once they get there, the buses don't start and they know the battery is probably missing."

The school system says scrap metal yards and battery dealers should be on the lookout for attempts to bring in batteries for cash exchanges.

"We hope anybody in battery recycling operations or scrap metal yards would notice these batteries are not your normal car batteries and that they still work, so we would hope that they would check that and notify us," said Hardin.

The burglars have cut away locks to lift out the batteries, which weigh up to 125 pounds.

Stronger security measures are complicated by the need for drivers to disconnect the battery in an emergency.

Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to call police.

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