A total of around 60 batteries were ripped off from school bus operations in Arizona and Illinois over the past two weeks.
In Collinsville, Ill, thieves made off with more than 35 batteries from buses in a First Student lot, KSDK reports.
Employees discovered the theft early Tuesday morning. Investigators said that the thieves left evidence at the scene and that footage from surveillance cameras at the facility would be reviewed.
Police noted that drug addicts looking for quick cash are often responsible for this type of crime. The batteries can reportedly be sold for $15 each at salvage yards.
The previous week, thieves in Peoria, Ariz., stole about two-dozen batteries and damaged about a dozen school buses, The Arizona Republic reports.
Police said that the suspects cut a chain-link fence and drove into the Peoria Unified School District's support service center on June 21.
The total of the theft and the damage was about $8,500; it was covered by insurance. A district spokesperson told the news source that spare batteries are kept on hand, and the buses were up and running that day.