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Arrest made in bus battery thefts at Wake County school

Posted July 17, 2013
Updated July 18, 2013

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— Raleigh police have made an arrest in connection with the theft of dozens of batteries, worth $7,300, from school buses parked overnight at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School.

Raleigh police said Wednesday that the 61 batteries, each weighing approximately 50 pounds, were taken from 20 buses between 7 p.m. Tuesday and 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, when a maintenance worker discovered the thefts and alerted police.

The arrest came Wednesday afternoon after a scrap dealer alerted police when a man tried selling 17 batteries similar to photos that investigators sent out in an alert earlier in the day.

Harvey Uras Jones, 31, of 2616 Holiday Drive, Raleigh, faces one count each of possession of stolen goods and attempted obtaining property by false pretense.

A WRAL News crew was present at the school Wednesday afternoon when police returned the batteries.

Renee McCoy, a spokeswoman for the Wake County Public School System, said there were some delays Wednesday morning in getting year-round students to school and said the problem would have been much worse had the crime happened during the traditional school year.

"It's an unfortunate day that someone would see fit to remove batteries from the buses that primarily are the means of getting kids to school," she said. "We just don't understand that."

The batteries, which retail for about $120 each, can be sold for scrap metal for about 25 cents per pound, meaning those stolen from the school system would bring in about $762. Bus batteries surveillance video Man charged in school bus battery thefts

McCoy said the school system was able to replace the batteries for $63 each by purchasing them in bulk.

Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said it wasn't clear if more than one person was involved in the thefts.

Anyone with information about the missing batteries should call the Raleigh Police Department at 919-829-1911 or Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.

Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for tips that help solve cases, and callers never have to identify themselves.

105 Comments

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  • pappybigtuna1 Jul 19, 2013

    Was at TT&E couple days back, selling alum cans, they take you photo 4 different times, no joke. They got your face before you try and sell anything.

  • joshro Jul 19, 2013

    You know how long it took to steal those batteries!!?! How heavy each one is and how far he had to carry them! 61 batteries at 50lbs a piece is 3050lbs. Add the gas to haul them the time to load them to take to scrap. He should have just gotten a real job. Some people have no brains at all.

  • tomcat27557 Jul 18, 2013

    step back and look at the big picture..if this man had been gainfully employed and our unemployment rates not as high as they have been in the last few years this probably would not have happened. no leadership in wash d.c. or caring about the people who really need jobs in this country. they only care about what they can scam out of the tax payers. poverty drives people to do what ever they have to do to survive.

  • WageSlave Jul 18, 2013

    "It's funny to me that some people will work so hard to go out and steal batteries but they can't work as hard to go out and get a job!!"

    How do you know that he didn't have a job?
    bowens44

    Yep, maybe he was trying to get some of his tax money back? lol

  • FlagWavingFascistCrank Jul 18, 2013

    Electrifying, Holmes! However did you deduce he was guilty?

    (other than showing up at TT&E with the exact same type of batteries ripped off from just down the road, of course.)

  • mmullen5 Jul 18, 2013

    Seriously, if he had any brains at all he should know that scrap dealers question anything that you have a lot of. You have to account for where you got it. If a man shows up with a truck full of copper pipe and there was a theft they are gonna call the law. Not to tell people how to get away with it but if he showed up with 4 batteries, they wouldn't have called. Then 4 more in a week. Darwin smiles...

  • woodrock223 Jul 18, 2013

    "The dealer might not have wondered where the batteries came from if he were white."

    were you there? how do you know the dealer at the scrap yard wasnt black or hispanic? oh wait, i forgot hispanic has been added to the white race now.

  • Capt. Obvious Jul 18, 2013

    Letsb**

    Were you there? How do you know there was no profiling?

    The dealer might not have wondered where the batteries came from if he were white.

  • scg Jul 18, 2013

    Really pathetic.

  • NotUrTypicalAmerican Jul 18, 2013

    Hasn't this dude ever heard of fingerprinting?

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