8 School Buses Stolen, Scrapped On South Side

Police questioning three people after buses tracked via GPS

Three people were being questioned Friday in connection with the overnight theft of eight school buses that were later found cut apart for scrap on Chicago's south side.

The buses were stolen from the Sunrise Bus company yard on the 10000 block of South Torrence Avenue and taken to Gonzalez Auto, at 3405 S Lawndale Ave.

Helicopter video from Sky 5 showed a large pile of scrap against the side of a building at the yard. Portions of the obliterated yellow buses were seen strewn among seats and other parts.

An employee of a nearby company said the scrap yard was open 24 hours a day and said she never really knew what was going on inside.

"The people there have always seemed a little shady, I guess. Nothing ever seemed really legit about them," said Jessica Roque.

No one answered the phones at Gonzalez Auto on Friday. In fact, three of their phone numbers were disconnected and a fourth wasn't taking incoming calls.

Officers said the buses were tracked to the yard via GPS devices on board the vehicles.

Hazmat teams were called to scene to evaluate any fuel spillage from the scrapped gas tanks.

The price of scrap metal has been on the rise. One company said they pay roughly $250 per ton. The school buses weighed up to 10 tons each.

Note: A previous version of this post identified the salvage yard where the buses were taken as
SRV Metal Scrapper. An online search puts the business at the same address as
Gonzalez Auto.

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