Safety

Iowa Man Accused of Stealing School Bus

Nicole Schlosser
Posted on February 16, 2018

CLINTON, Iowa — A man here is facing charges after allegedly stealing a school bus from a residence on Tuesday, police said.

At 5:02 p.m., Clinton County deputies responded to a report of a Northeast Community School District bus being stolen from a private driveway, according to a news release from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office. Soon after, deputies located the school bus stuck in a field a short distance from the residence it had been stolen from.

One person, Thomas Jason Ruchotzke, was on board the bus. After a brief standoff, deputies were able to take him into custody.

According to the affidavit, obtained by the Clinton Herald, Ruchotzke told deputies that he owned the bus, was stuck, and just needed a push to get going, and that he was fine with living on the bus. The newspaper also reports that Ruchotzke struck two mailboxes and damaged the front of the bus, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit also states that the bus was eventually driven away by Northeast Community School District employees, according to the Clinton Herald.

Ruchotzke was charged with operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent, criminal mischief in the third degree, and driving with a suspended license.

Ruchotzke also had two Clinton County District Court warrants for controlled substance violations, according to the news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Related Topics: Iowa, school bus security

Nicole Schlosser Managing Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Raymond

     | about 4 months ago

    This is something we should all be vigilant on. I hope the driver didn't leave the keys in the ignition. With most school buses unable to be locked, the number one security measure is ALWAYS take the keys with you! Most newer buses have safety features that prevent the bus from even being moved without the engine running.

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