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Local company helps school system recover from bus battery thefts
by Christine Fonville
September 12, 2013 12:10 PM | 3789 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye / 
JD Hardin looks over the housing unit for the new battery on a Henry County school bus last week.
Staff / Katherine Frye / JD Hardin looks over the housing unit for the new battery on a Henry County school bus last week.
The transportation system for Henry County Schools is replacing some of the recently stolen school bus batteries thanks to Milton-based Exide Technologies.

Director of Transportation Cliff Shearouse and Communications Specialist J.D. Hardin expressed gratitude for the $1,200 credit the company provided the county after reading about the thefts in local media.

“Over a five-day period in the beginning of August, 38 bus batteries were stolen from Henry County school buses totaling about $5,000 worth of stolen goods and damages to the vehicles,” Hardin said.

Shearouse and Hardin said the credit from the company was unexpected but “much appreciated.”

“Each battery can range from $125 to $300, so any help [Exide] is able to provide is well received,” Shearouse said.

A district sales manager for the company, Randy MacDonald, wrote, “We know how disruptive this must have been and we are sure it caused a major drain on your budget,” in a letter addressed to Shearouse which included the information about the credit.

“It shows a lot about a company that reaches out a helping hand to assist our schools and the children who rely on our transportation every day,” said Shearouse.

The county’s sheriff’s office is still seeking information from anyone that may know more about the bus battery thefts.

“These are not typical-looking car batteries and they can weigh as much as 125 pounds, so if the thieves are trying to pawn the batteries for money, someone should recognize it,” Hardin said.

He also said scrap metal yards and battery dealers should know, “if the batteries are being dropped off at your facility and testing shows they still work, that should be a red flag.”

Through surveillance video footage taken at the scenes where the thefts occurred, police were able to discern the suspects appear to be white males between 5-feet, 7-inches and 6 feet tall in their mid- to late 30’s.

Hardin said even though it has been about a month since the last battery theft occurred, police are still working the case.

“The bus drivers and transportation system in the county are still taking proactive measures to make sure no other batteries are stolen and we haven’t stopped looking for these thieves,” he said.

Anyone with information regarding the battery thefts can call Sgt. Sandra Holliday at (678) 898-7339.

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