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Missing school bus found with severe damage

Two people have been charged with theft and attempted arson, among other charges, after a Maryland school bus was stolen and vandalized. The incident happened on Oct. 7 in Anne Arundel County.

A bus belonging to Anne Arundel County Public Schools was first noticed missing from a bus yard at 5:30 a.m. Workers at the yard called police, who notified parents whose children were supposed to be picked up by the bus. Police found the bus about four hours later in damaged condition. Windows had been broken, and police say the defendants attempted to set the bus on fire.

Video surveillance from the bus and witness reports led police to the two suspects, a man and a woman, both 24 years old. Police say the two had been intoxicated and looking for money to buy cigarettes. They took bus No. 874 around 3:30 a.m., according to police, and drove it through a gate. Police say they also vandalized other buses on the lot. The suspects have been charged with first-degree burglary, destruction of property over $100,000, theft over $100,000 and attempted arson.

Penalties for theft convictions can be severe, with fines and jail time possible. In Maryland, theft of property valued at $1,000 or more is a felony offense. In this case, the $100,000 value of the stolen property means that if the suspects were tried and found guilty, they could each receive maximum penalties of 25 years in jail, a $25,000 fine or both. An attorney could represent someone who has been charged with theft and fight the charges. In some cases, an attorney could negotiate with prosecutors and possibly get charges or sentences reduced.

Source: WBAL, "Police: Stolen Anne Arundel County school bus found ", Lowell Melser, October 07, 2014

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