Battery theft idles buses, shuts down Mill Creek Schools

Published: .
Updated: .

Classes were canceled Monday at a school district in central Indiana after someone swiped the batteries from the school buses.

It happened in the Mill Creek Community School Corporation in Hendricks County, about 15 miles west of Indianapolis.

School buses were not moving Monday morning at Mill Creek. The battery compartments were open and empty.

"These people are stealing these batteries for whatever money they can get out of them," said Lt. James Yetter, Hendricks County Sheriff's Department.

The Hendricks County Sheriff's Department is working with the Mill Creek Community School Corporation to figure out who stole 17 batteries from six school buses parked behind Cascade High School.

Around 1:00 am Monday morning, a witness told investigators a man wearing a cap was inside the fenced area, eventually leaving in a silver Saturn. Lt. James Yetter is certain that man didn't act alone.

"That would take quite a lot of time to carry those batteries. We assume two or three people were involved," said Lt. Yetter.

The burglary report states there was not a lock on the gate. Each battery is worth $200, which means it will cost the school corporation more than $3,500 to put batteries back on these school buses.

"This isn't just something where these guys took these batteries and brought them somewhere to get money or whatever and it's affecting six bus drivers, this is affecting hundreds of kids in this school district. That's uncalled for," said Lt. Yetter.

The superintendent tells Eyewitness News they do plan to have school Tuesday after they get new batteries installed in the buses. They tell us they are working with the sheriff's department to look at surveillance video to figure out who stole these batteries.

All regularly scheduled athletic events will go on as scheduled Monday at Mill Creek Community School Corporation. Events and practices are NOT canceled.

If you recognize the suspect vehicle, contact the Hendricks County Sheriff's Department at (317) 745-4213.

Mill Creek Schools posted this on their website:

This morning the Mill Creek Community School Corporation bus barn was struck by vandals.  All bus batteries were stolen, leaving us without transportation for students.  School today (Monday, September 30) is canceled to allow time to get the bus fleet up and rolling.  We will resume a normal school day on Tuesday, October 1st.

All regularly scheduled athletic events will go on as normal; events and practices are NOT canceled. The bus to Area 31, and South Putnam is NOT affected; these students will have class as normal.