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95 South Tours and Transportation owner caught with stolen buses

6:12 PM, Nov 6, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has recovered two school buses stolen from Lowndes County, Ga. earlier this month, according to a JSO arrest report.

Officers reported finding the buses at the intersection of E. Beaver Street and Franklin Street in Jacksonville, and the bus drivers told investigators they had been working that night for 95 South Tours and Transportation.

Lowndes County officials said the buses were being used as transportation for the Florida-Georgia football game on Saturday, Nov. 2.

"Whoever stole the buses entered the fenced-in area (of the school bus lot), obtained keys to the buses, and drove them away," said Lt. Stryde Jones, with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office said.

JSO's Auto Theft Unit went out to 95 South Tours & Transportation's offices, located at the 2000 block of N. Lane Avenue, and met with Alphonso Rock, the company's owner.

During his interview with police, Rock's arrest report says he gave officers permission to search the facility, allowing an inspection of the remaining buses on the property.

Rock has been charged with theft of a motor vehicle less than $100,000by Jacksonville authorities.

Taylor Casey is representing Alphonso Rock. Casey says the owner of the transportation company is a victim too and is working with police.

"He has busses that he has paid good money, valuable money out of his pocket for. Those busses have now been returned to the rightful owners. So not only is my client out the buses he paid for also out the money invested in those," said Casey.

During the inspection, deputies found three more stolen buses and a fourth bus which could not be identified due to the VIN being removed.

Police removed all of the stolen buses, as well as the unidentified bus, from the property and let their owners know they'd been found.

One of those owners is right here in Jacksonville, according to a related police report.  That report shows that one of the stolen buses was taken from First Student Inc.'s offices, located at 1702 Ogilve Park Lane. 

Back in July 2009, one of the company's buses disappeared.  Officers determined that none of the buses on the lot could be locked and that one key fit all of the buses there, and were never able to located the stolen bus.

In addition to the stolen buses found in Jacksonville, more stolen buses were recovered in Gainesville.

The Gainesville Police Department received a call on Wednesday from JSO requesting to examine some buses that were parked in a grassy field in Gainesville directly across from the Red Roof in at the 3500 black of SW 42nd street.

GPD discovered three stolen school buses when they arrived. Reports state that two were stolen from Flagler County School and one from Duval County.

The stolen buses were labeled "95 South Tours, Inc" which is exactly like the ones found in Jacksonville.

An investigation is underway throughout the state of Florida, according to a Flager County Sheriff's Office press release.

First Coast News

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