Police: No arrests in theft of school buses

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Police in the community of Golf Manor are investigating the theft and vandalism of eleven school buses early Friday morning.

Investigators spent several hours collecting evidence at the Petermann Bus Depot, while company officials have been trying to figure out the exact extent of damage.

The break-in was reported by a Petermann maintenance worker who discovered a damaged bus in the company's golf manor lot on Section Road.

The thieves apparently hot-wired the buses. According to Golf Manor Police Officer Brian Kinamore, at least ten were driven off the lot. The stolen buses have since been recovered.

Security cameras on the property were not working at the time. Police say they have several juvenile suspects, but no arrests have been made.

"We know that there was ten school buses that were stolen... A lot of damage being done around the city. Right now we got Lincoln Heights, Norwood and the City involved in helping our investigation in locating these buses."

An 11th bus was apparently taken for a joy ride around the property. It was found wrecked and covered with mud.

At last report, all but one of the missing buses have been recovered after being abandoned at locations throughout the area. Some of the buses have been damaged from crashing into one another.

Officer Kinamore says investigators believe more than one person is responsible.

"I can't really give you an honest number on that. All I can say is a lot of buses [were] missing, so it has got to be a large group of people," he said. "We have no idea who it may be as of right now. Could be teenagers to juveniles."

Petermann does have surveillance equipment on the property, but it's not clear if the break-in was captured on camera.

"The only thing we normally deal with is joy riding. We never had multiple joy ridings in one day," said Officer Kinamore.

A previous employee of Petermann tells FOX19's Gordon Graham gates on either end of the parking drive are supposed to be locked during the holidays.

It's not clear if those gates were left open, but the larger question is, how did the thieves make off with several of the company's buses?

Damage from the thefts and vandalism could run into tens of thousands of dollars.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Golf Manor Police Department or Crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040.

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