School buses typically sit vacant over the summer, but in Mercer County some were taken on a joy ride.
They are about forty feet in length and require a special license to drive, but that hasn't stopped thieves from tampering with the Mercer County school buses.
"When the bus maintenance crews showed up in the morning, they noticed that the buses were out of line. Upon further investigation, they realized that the buses had been damaged," says Ptl. Thomas Fournier, Harrodsburg Police Department
Over the course of two weeks, four other buses have been tampered with. The joy rides resulted in more than $10,000 in damages.
"There's been side swipes to the sides of the bus, the equipment lockers on the sides of the bus, one has been almost completely torn out. There's also been other criminal mischief reports as far as mailboxes that have been run over. There's been yellow paint transfers indicating that a bus was involved," adds Fournier.
Harrodsburg police believe juveniles are the ones driving the buses around town, putting themselves and others at risk.
"They're incapable of operating them. It's pretty clear with the damage that has been done," says Fournier.
While police continue to investigate, the school district has increased its security measures.
"They're working on changing the key system to the buses as well as disabling some of the buses to make sure they would not be able to run in non-school months," Fournier says.
School officials are still working to figure how someone took off with these buses, whether they were hot wired or someone found a key.