Thieves swiping batteries from school district buses - KCTV5

Thieves swiping batteries from school district buses

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ODESSA, MO (KCTV) -

Thieves keep targeting school district batteries. They are stealing them in hopes of reselling them.

It's a crime that's on the increase, especially in rural areas.

On Monday morning, for the second time this school year, several batteries were missing from Odessa School District buses.

"This was a little different," said Odessa Schools Superintendent Robert Brinkley. "They just unbolted the batteries this time. The time before, they cut the cables and took the batteries."

The district has spent $2,500 in the past two months replacing batteries.

"It is an additional expense. It can cause disruption as far as service. Obviously it's the kids that suffer with someone like this," Brinkley said.

The Odessa district is considering changing how batteries are stored. The district has also asked for stepped up police patrols. Brinkley said additional lighting and surveillance cameras are also under consideration.

"We've also discussed ways of locking up the bus boxes where the batteries are located," Brinkley said.

The Lafayette County Sheriff's Department said thefts like this are on the rise. More than $1,000 worth of batteries were recently stolen from the Lone Jack School District.

The criminals apparently planned their work.

"It does take some time. You have to be there for a good long while to steal eight, 10, 12 or 15 batteries," Lone Jack Transportation Director Steve Ogan said. "They unbolt them, take everything apart. It's not something you put wire cutters on."

Replacing batteries is money that should be spent on children, district officials say.

If you have any information about the vandalism, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

To read previous coverage, click here.

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