ROSEVILLE, Minn. - A school bus with the keys left inside lead to a bizarre bus ride.
Roseville Police said a 14-year-old boy spotted a school bus sitting outside the Holiday gas station located at Rice Street and Wheelock Parkway. The teen noticed the bus had been there for about 20 minutes, and he told police he wanted to return it. Investigators say the driver of the bus was on a break inside the gas station, but the keys were left inside the vehicle.
The teen told police he planned to drive the bus to Centerline Charter Corporation, which owns the bus. Centerline is located just a few blocks away.
The teen drove the school bus out of the Holiday parking lot and pulled into the Centerline parking lot to return the bus, when there was a radio call that the bus had been stolen.
"The operations manager saw the bus pulling in, dropped the phone, got into a work vehicle or personal vehicle and radioed for others to call police because the bus was on site," explained Lt. Lorne Rosand, Roseville Police.
Police said the teen overheard the conversation on the radio inside of his bus and took off, driving the bus up Rice Street.
The manager followed and caught up with the bus at the intersection of Rice Street and County Road B2. He said the bus went through the lights at the intersection, headed west and went through the intersection at Western and headed to Dale Street.
This all happened around 8:00 am, during morning rush hour. The bus finally came to a stop when the driver pulled into a Shell gas station and got the tires caught on a post that protects the gas pump. That was all caught on surveillance video from the B-Dale Corner Store. Video shows the bus come to an abrupt stop and the teen running from the bus.
"That was the operations manager's opportunity to take custody of the youth as he was running out if the bus," said Lt. Rosand.
The bus suffered damage, and the pump was a little damaged. It will all get sorted out in court. The 14-year-old will face auto theft charges in juvenile court.
Nobody was injured during the incident.