Raleigh police recover stolen bus batteries, but no theft charges so far

From staff reportsJuly 18, 2013 

— Police have recovered 23 of the 61 batteries stolen from a fleet of Wake County school buses overnight Wednesday but have not charged anyone with stealing them.

Police arrested Harvey Urias Jones, 31, of Holiday Drive in Raleigh on Wednesday afternoon after they found 17 of the batteries in the trunk of his Mazda at TT&E Iron & Metal on West Garner Road. Jones was attempting to sell them for a little over $220, said Ronnie Thompson, the salvage yard co-owner.

Police said Thursday that they had recovered six more of the batteries at Jones’ home, but that 38 remained unaccounted for. The batteries were taken from school buses parked at Southeast Raleigh High School on Rock Quarry Road.

Investigators charged Jones with one count of possession of stolen property and one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretenses, but they have not charged him with theft.

“He has not been charged with the larceny of the batteries at this point,” Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Thursday. “The detectives believe there is more to be learned about the case.”

All together, the batteries weigh more than 3,000 pounds. A bus mechanic discovered the thefts just after 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, and soon after police began calling salvage yards and other places where the thieves might attempt to sell the batteries for scrap.

Employees at TT&E Iron & Metal called police when they recognized the batteries Jones was trying to sell, Thompson said.

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