Rochester Bus Driver Arrested For Theft Before Pickup at High School
The school bus the 53-year-old woman was driving was parked outside the Rochester Hills store where she was arrested for retail fraud, police say.
A bus driver for Rochester Community Schools was arrested for retail fraud at the Village of Rochester Hills on Friday afternoon while the school bus she had been driving was parked in the store's parking lot, according to police.
The incident was reported at 2:40 p.m. Friday; according to Rochester Schools officials, the bus driver was scheduled to pick up students at Stoney Creek High School.
The bus driver was a 53-year-old woman, according to a news release from the Oakland County Sheriff's Office; she was arrested and taken to the Oakland County Jail pending an arraignment. The specifics of the retail fraud complaint were not immediately known.
According to the news release, the school district's bus garage was contacted at the time of the driver's arrest to retrieve the school bus from the parking lot. There were no students on the bus when the incident occurred.
Bus drivers for Rochester Schools are contracted employees of Durham School Services, an Illinois-based company that operates more than 17,000 school buses nationwide.
Rochester Schools officials issued the following statement on Sunday night: "We are discussing the issue with Durham and anticipate their response explaining how something of this nature could have occurred and what safeguards they have in place to prevent future incidents."
Last spring, the Rochester Board of Education, under the advisement of former Superintendent Fred Clarke, approved the outsourcing of transportation services, along with custodian and partial ground services, to save the district money. Clarke resigned last week.
The school district's contract with Durham is for three years and is estimated to save the district $4.7 million.
An update on the Durham relationship with Rochester is planned for the Monday night Board of Education meeting.
According to a Q&A on the Durham website, all drivers are required to pass a drug and alcohol screening and a criminal background check. It is not known how long the driver has been a part of the Rochester fleet.