A 14-year-old St. Paul boy may face felony auto theft charges after crashing a school bus in Roseville Monday morning.
No one was reported hurt in the incident, which reportedly started in St. Paul.
A Centerline Charter bus driver stopped at the Holiday station at Rice and Wheelock this morning for a cup of coffee when the youth, believed to be a 9th grader, got on the bus, found the keys in the ignition and drove off, Roseville police Lt. Lorne Rosand said.
The driver reported the bus missing about the same time that it pulled onto the lot at Centerline Charter. An operations manager saw the missing bus, got on the company radio and asked someone to call police. The bus took off again, and the manager pursued it in a company vehicle.
The bus took off north on Rice Street; the manager pulled up alongside and told the boy to stop. Instead, the bus made a left turn onto County Road B2, and headed west. Rosand said the bus blew the stop sign at Western, then turned left and went south on Dale.
"We surmise the traffic was backed up at a red light at County road B and Dale," Rosand said, "The youth pulled into the Shell station parking lot and tried to go around the pumps, but got hung up on the pumps, and that's when the operations director got on the bus and took custody of the youth."
Click here for a map of the route, according to police.
The boy allegedly told police that he was trying to return the bus after finding it abandoned at the Holiday station.
"Do you believe him or not, I don't know," Rosand said. "But that's not how you return abandon property -- especially a $50,000 school bus."
The youth was arrested for felony auto theft.