14-year-old pleads guilty to stealing school bus in St. Paul

  • Updated: March 7, 2014 - 8:51 PM

A 14-year-old boy pleaded guilty Thursday to commandeering a school bus last month and crashing it into a gas station fuel pump in Roseville.

The boy, who was not identified, pleaded guilty in Ramsey County District Court to motor vehicle theft and criminal damage to property, and was ordered to pay restitution.

According to Roseville police: Authorities arrested the boy about 7:55 a.m. on Feb. 10 at the Shell Gas Station at 2154 Dale Street. A Centerline Bus Company operations manager held the boy, who stole a $45,000 company school bus, at the station until police arrived.

The incident began when the bus driver parked the bus at Rice Street and Wheelock Parkway in St. Paul and went inside a Holiday station, according to police. The driver left the bus parked with the keys still in the ignition. When she returned from her coffee break, the bus was gone.

The boy told police he thought the bus was abandoned, and said he took the bus so he could return it.

The boy also told police he drove the bus to the company’s lot on Rice Street, overheard on the bus radio that police were being called and became scared, police said. He then drove west on County Road B2, south on Dale Street and sideswiped the fuel pump island.

The bus company’s operations manager witnessed and corroborated parts of the boy’s account, police said.

CHAO XIONG

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