Suspected school bus thief seen on video

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SANDY -- Investigators are getting a good look at a man who they say took a school bus for a joyride. Friday they released pictures of the suspect taken by a surveillance camera on the bus.

Sandy police originally thought the Canyons School District had removed the camera on its bus earlier this year, but that wasn't the case.

Sandy police Capt. Kevin Thacker says when the pictures came back from the lab they were better than investigators had hoped for.

"We do get those that you look at and you go, 'Wow, how would anybody identify that person?' But once you get it out there and it's clear like these are, your chances go up dramatically of making an arrest," Thacker says.

The pictures show the man getting onto the bus, wearing a backwards cap, an open button-down shirt and jeans. He also has a goatee and a tattoo on the left side of his chest that begins with a cursive letter D. Police said he appears to be in his 20s.

"We're hoping someone recognizes him and can call us and identify who this suspect is," Thacker says.

Police said the man stole the school bus from the Canyons School District bus lot around 4 a.m. Thursday, then lead troopers on a chase down Interstate 15, hitting a Taylorsville K-9 Unit vehicle in the process. No one was injured.

He eventually drove onto Interstate 80 westbound and exited on Redwood Road. The man ran a red light at North Temple, so troopers terminated their pursuit.

A few minute later the bus was found crashed into a tree at 500 North and 1465 West in Salt Lake City, but the driver had fled. Police say he could face several charges, including fleeing and aggravated assault, if he is caught.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sandy Police Department at 801-840-4000.


Story compiled with contributions from Shara Park and Logan Daniels.


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