Batteries stolen from school buses at Winston-Salem middle school

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Twenty-two school bus batteries have been stolen from buses parked at Flat Rock Middle School and Meadowlark Middle School and now school officials have changed security measures for their large bus parking lots.

Tuesday morning school officials found 15 batteries had been taken from buses parked at Meadowlark Middle. While the buses were not vandalized, the lack of batteries did delay some bus routes.

Seven batteries were stolen from buses parked at Flat Rock Middle School last week.

Assistant Superintendant Darrell Walker said is he not sure why someone is interested in the batteries since they cost about $100.00 each, but can only be re-sold for less than $10.00.

"Obviously they've found a niche. A lot of these batteries is used for big equipment, trucks, tractors, things of that nature. All total now its cost us about $6,600 including parts and labor at this point," said Walker.

Winston-Salem Police Captain Mitch Masencup said he doesn't recall buses ever being a target like this before, but he's not surprised.

"This is actually the first incident like this that I can remember.  I do know we have a lot of issues with folks taking things to metal recyclers, battery recyclers, catalytic converters, things of that nature.  We see a lot of cases where people are stealing stuff these days," said Masencup.

School officials won't say what they are doing where, but did say as of Tuesday afternoon they are adding lights, security cameras and overnight officers to bus lots around the county. They think the thieves may try to strike again.

"It's frustrating! Obviously securing the buses involves spending more money, which is a little bit of a concern, but its the right thing to do," said Walker.