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 Executive Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Raymond

     | about 2 years 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.

More Stories
NAPT Conference and Trade Show scholarship deadlines are almost here. Shown here is Michael Martin, NAPT's executive director, speaking at the 2018 conference in Kansas City, Mo.
News

NAPT Scholarship Deadlines Approaching

The National Association for Pupil Transportation Conference and Trade Show deadline for two related scholarships is Sept. 18. The Sol Englander Innovation in School Transportation Safety Scholarship deadline is Oct. 11.

In Iowa, lap-shoulder belts will be required on all new school buses ordered as of Oct. 2. File photo courtesy Des Moines (Iowa) Public Schools
News

Iowa to Require Seat Belts on All New School Buses

Lap-shoulder belts will be required on all new school buses ordered as of Oct. 2. Safety equipment such as a second stop arm, hand rails, exterior boarding lights, and fire-resistant crash barriers are also required.

The Kansas State Department of Education’s “Stop on Red, Kids Ahead” campaign includes bumper stickers donated by Collins Bus Corp. Photo courtesy Collins Bus Corp.
News

Kansas Launches School Bus Safety Campaign

The state Department of Education’s “Stop on Red, Kids Ahead” includes social media reminders, posters, and safety flyers, as well as bumper stickers donated by Collins Bus Corp.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!