EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A man here was arrested on Thursday in connection with the theft of more than 30 school bus batteries on Wednesday, police said.
Edmund Pittsley is facing felony charges of larceny over $1,500 and conspiracy, Providence Journal reports.
School bus drivers for East Providence School District arrived at the bus lot at about 5 a.m. Wednesday and were unable to start their buses, according to WLNE. School officials pushed the start of school back by two hours to put together a backup plan, and each bus was checked to make sure no other parts were missing. Police told the news source that the batteries can cost up to $170 each, and that they suspect the theft was drug related. School officials told WLNE they will implement new security features at the bus yard.
East Providence Ocean State Transit, the school bus company that owns the buses that serve East Providence School District, posted a message about the missing batteries on its Facebook page on Wednesday morning. The post noted that despite the rain, all the drivers stayed and asked what they could do to help. The company thanked the drivers “for making every day easier, every emergency smoother, and for always stepping up to lend a hand.”
Thirty-three batteries were recovered from a recycling facility after someone saw the media coverage and recognized them, police told WLNE.
Police told Providence Journal that Pittsley turned himself in on Thursday morning after he was contacted by authorities. Police added that detectives have gathered information that has led to the identification of at least one other suspect.
Below is a tweet from ABC6 reporter Alana Cerrone about police on the scene investigating the theft.