Stolen school bus recovered in Flagler County

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. - Less than two weeks after two stolen Flagler County school buses were recovered near Gainesville, detectives have recovered a school bus in Palm Coast that had been reported stolen out of Alachua County.

The bus was being rented by Palm Harbor Academy for transportation of students to and from school.

Detectives received information that the private school was renting buses from 95 South Tours and Transportation of Jacksonville. A check of two of the school buses Monday revealed one had been reported stolen, Flagler County deputies said.

The stolen bus was towed from the school site and will be returned to the Alachua County school district. The Palm Coast school had been renting the bus, with the company paying for maintenance, gas and the driver, deputies said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrested Alphoso Rock (pictured below), owner of the Jacksonville company, on Aug. 4 on charges of theft of a motor vehicle less than $100,000.

A statewide investigation was launched several months ago when school districts in Florida and Georgia began reporting the thefts of school buses.

In Flagler County, the school district reported two All American school buses were discovered missing from the bus garage on Aug. 8. Those buses were recovered near Interstate 75 in Gainesville, along with buses previously reported stolen from around Florida and Georgia.

Flagler County Sheriff James Manfre described the serial bus thefts as being "part of an elaborate theft ring operating in northeast Florida and south Georgia."

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