Local News

Cousins charged with stealing day care bus

Posted August 3, 2011 10:17 a.m. EDT

— A pair of cousins has been charged with stealing a bus from a Hope Mills day care and cutting it up for scrap metal, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said that Tommy Lee Seals, 29, and Eddie Ray Smith, 19, damaged a bus while trying to steal it from Pamper, Hugs and Luv Daycare Center, 634 Sandhill Road, around 2 a.m. on July 20. They managed to drive off a second bus and take it to Smith's home at 622 Liberty Plank Road in St. Pauls, investigators said.

The two repainted the bus, cut it into pieces and sold the metal at various scrap metal garages, authorities said.

Smith and Seals, of 6476 Alamance Road in Hope Mills, were charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, conspiracy, breaking and entering a motor vehicle, attempted larceny of a motor vehicle and obtaining property by false pretenses.

They were both placed in the Cumberland County Detention Center under separate $30,000 secured bonds.

Seals was placed on probation June 30 after being convicted of possessing stolen goods, according to state Department of Correction records. He has 19 convictions from the past eight years and has served one 11-month jail term for a probation violation.