STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – Stillwater Public Schools and police are investigating after a high school student stole one of the district’s buses during lunchtime and took it on a brief joyride.
“I heard someone say, ‘Someone stole the bus!’ and I was like, ‘Here?’” said Stillwater High School student Kaelynn Crew.
“A little bit of disbelief. ‘Is this really happening?’” said Superintendent Marc Moore.
“I don’t know if he just needed a ride to go to lunch or what his issue was, but he found a bus and took it,” said Lt. Kyle Bruce with the Stillwater Police Department.
Stillwater police said around 12:15 p.m. Tuesday that a Stillwater High School student allegedly spotted School Bus 49 in the parking lot. The superintendent said the unnamed suspect didn’t have to search hard for the keys.
“Apparently, they were left inside. Certainly, not what we want,” said the superintendent.
The student reportedly hopped in the bus and took off, while other students watched the whole thing.
“We had multiple students report it to the high school administration almost immediately,” said Moore.
“Buses are huge! I can’t even drive a truck. I don’t know how someone would drive a bus,” said Crew.
The superintendent said staff informed the school resource officer, who then looped the Police Department into the investigation. Officers sent out a “be on the lookout” for a teen behind the wheel of a school bus.
But the 20-minute joyride came to an end when a detective caught him three-fourths of a mile away from the high school, driving by an apartment complex near Boomer Lake.
“I don’t’ think he was driving recklessly. From all indications he was driving normal,” said Bruce. “The bus pulled right over.”
Officers said the story may be entertaining, but it could’ve had a very different ending.
“Stealing of a school bus is crazy to me,” Bruce said, “Especially by a high school student. This is rare for me.
“They’re not cars. They’re large vehicles. And to be honest, high school kids aren’t really equipped with driving a car very well. So, they’re probably not going to drive a bus very well either.”
“If it had gone on for two or three hours, it’s more likely there would’ve been injuries,” said Moore.
“I’m definitely a little scared. Not like scared that I don’t want to go to school, but scared for other kids who are troubled,” said Crew.
Stillwater police said the student will likely face charges through the juvenile court system for stealing the bus or even being in possession of the stolen vehicle.
Meanwhile, as the district investigates why the keys were in the bus in the first place, it is correcting policies to make sure this never happens again.