ALBION — Someone — authorities hope — will be getting an education in the finer points of charges for vehicular theft after a full-size school bus was stolen from the the Central Noble Schools lot on S.R. 8 last weekend.
That's right, a full-sized, 72-seat, yellow school bus with Central Noble on the sides.
"It was parked at the bus garage," Central Noble Police Chief David Worman said. "Friday it was there. Monday morning around 10ish, it was gone."
The bus in question is Central Noble Schools bus No. 9, a 2011 Bluebird model. The bus had a municipal plate of 74862.
That model of bus can't be locked, according to Worman.
The bus is one of several the corporation keeps on hand for extra curricular activities when the regular full-time buses are being taken on their routes. Because they are used so often during the weekend, keys were kept inside the bus — a practice no longer used by the corporation.
"They come and go all weekend with all the extra curricular (activities)," Worman said of activity at the bus lot.
At first, school officials were unsure of what had happened. Calls were made to determine if one of the drivers had taken bus No. 9 for whatever reason.
Eventually, officials learned the truth — the bus had been stolen.
"It certainly has to be somewhere," Worman said.
The Central Noble Police Department has been working with local law enforcement agencies but so far the bus has not been located.
Worman, who is also the corporation's transportation director, frequently drives Central Noble athletes to athletic contests. He alternates between using bus No. 9, bus No. 16 and bus No. 19.
Having a school bus sit for long periods of time without being used isn't good for it, Worman said.
Noble County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Brian Walker said while he's never heard of a local school bus being stolen, several years ago, a full-sized tour bus was stolen from LaOtto. That bus was later recovered in Detroit.
Anyone with information on the theft can call the Central Noble Police Department at 636-2117, Ext. 7006, Albion Town Marshal's Office at 636-7157; or Noble County Sheriff's Department at 636-2182.