Less than two weeks after two school buses that had belonged to the Flagler County school district were recovered near Gainesville, Flagler County Sheriff’s detectives Monday recovered a school bus in Palm Coast that had been reported stolen out of Alachua County.
The bus was being rented by Palm Harbor Academy–which is not at fault–for transportation of students to and from school. Detectives received information that the private school was renting buses from 95 South Tours and Transportation of Jacksonville. A check of two of the school buses Monday revealed one had been reported stolen.
The stolen bus was towed from Palm Harbor Academy site and will be returned to the Alachua County school district. The Palm Coast school had been renting the bus with the company paying for maintenance, gas and the driver.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrested Alphoso Bernard Rock, owner of the Jacksonville company, Aug. 4 on charges of theft of a motor vehicle less than $100,000.
A statewide investigation was launched several months ago when school districts in Florida and Georgia began reporting the thefts of school buses. Locally, the school district reported two All American school buses were discovered missing from the bus garage on Aug. 8. Those buses were recovered near I-75 in Gainesville along with buses previously reported stolen from around Florida and Georgia.
Flagler County Sheriff James L. Manfre described the serial bus thefts as being “part of an elaborate theft ring operating in Northeast Florida and South Georgia.”