UPDATE: Man Sentenced in School Bus Battery Theft

By: News Email
By: News Email

UPDATE 10/24/2013 9:50 AM

A man who pleaded guilty back in September to stealing almost $8,000 worth of bus batteries from Frontier Local Schools more than two years ago is sentenced.

Thomas Fellure was sentenced Wednesday in Washington County Court to 90 days in jail.

Two years ago, Fellure broke into the Frontier bus garage and stole fifty bus batteries, various lead cables and a couple of catalytic converters.

He is ordered to pay a restitution total of $674 to the victims.
UPDATE: 12/01/2011

According to Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks, a warrant has been requested for Thomas Fellure Jr. of Parkersburg for allegedly stealing batteries from Frontier School buses.

Sheriff Mincks says surveillance footage we aired on WTAP in June led to the identity of the suspect after multiple sources identified his car.

Additional investigations revealed Fellure sold 1,085 pounds of lead batteries to a recycling center, the same type of batteries school officials say were in the Frontier buses.

Once he's arrested, Fellure will face felony charges of vandalism and theft.


UPDATE: 8/16/11 6:18 P.M.

Frontier School District is ready to go back to school, even after an incident over the summer put a halt on transportation.

Fifty batteries were stolen from Frontier School buses on June 12th.

Although surveillance video captured a vehicle pulling in and out of the parking lot, there have been no identified suspects or arrests in the case.

School officials say they purchased new batteries and most were covered through their insurance.

Two catalytic converters and fifty batteries stolen from Frontier School District's buses just days after they were parked for summer...coincidence? school officials think not.

"We had summer school, I went to start a bus, course it didn't start, went and tried another one and got a flashlight and there were no batteries," the district's head mechanic, Gary Bookman said when discovering the batteries were stolen.

Officials say there aren't any new leads, but the district has video surveillance footage that may help in the investigation.

It shows a vehicle entering the lot circling around multiple times and then leaving forty five minutes later.

The district's technical director, Bruce Cassady has studied the video surveillance. "We had someone enter the property, in a Chevy Blazer or Ford Explorer. They were on the property about forty five minutes then they left heading south on Route Seven."

School officials believe the batteries and converters are worth about eight thousand dollars.

Costly...and easy to access.

"All they did is just opened up the box and took a wrench and unbolted everything and took them out," Bookman said.

"They left the battery compartments open. We didn't find any debris, any tracks. All we have is what we have on the camera right now," Cassady stated.

School officials hope it's enough to catch these battery bandits.

Sheriff Mincks says the suspects, if caught, could face felony charges.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

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  • by Roger on Dec 5, 2011 at 05:28 AM
    I don't care where he is from or where he goes afterwards but as part of his punishment he should be tied to a whipping post in front of that school and be made an example of. Restitution should be that many NEW batteries.
  • by Roger on Dec 3, 2011 at 06:57 AM
    Good job, deputies!
  • by Anonymous on Dec 1, 2011 at 09:44 PM
    The guy that stole the batteries was from Parkersburg. The story said the batteries totaled 1080lbs. Just about any SUV will carry that much weight.
  • by Liz Location: Marietta on Jun 21, 2011 at 10:23 PM
    I heard that people were stealing catalytic converters at B&J gas station as well. May be connected, most likely anyway.
  • by Tammy Location: Parkersburg on Jun 21, 2011 at 10:06 PM
    People are so stupid! You can put 50 batteries in a suv! OMG they dont weigh that much! And who ever the people are that are doing it are really good and fast! They have hit so many places in parkersburg! They got a tip that they are taking this stuff to Columbus because WV has a flag out for this stuff.
    • reply
      by Frontier grad on Dec 1, 2011 at 04:32 PM in reply to Tammy
      What do you think, they are the same size as a car battery, sorry Alice they aren't, and no they are not light.
  • by FLSD Employee Location: Washington County on Jun 21, 2011 at 07:58 PM
    Yes, it is believed that 45 minutes was not enough time to do this. The reason that the buses are not fenced in is that the BOE will not spend the money. Most of our BOE members do not have the proper business or education training to properly serve the district. Anyone who lives in the district should go to the BOE meetings and make your opions known. Next meeting is June 30 at Newport ES.
    • reply
      by Parent on Jun 21, 2011 at 09:19 PM in reply to FLSD Employee
      My question to you is where is the money going to come from to fence it in? Our school district has cut a lot from the students maybe they can cut lunches (have gotten a lot smaller in the last couple of years) or more classes or even not replace books that has been used for years. Sorry I feel the board members does all that they can with what they have to work with.It is not the board members fault that the batteries were stolen. The thing here is the person or persons just need to be caught. If the employees don't support the district maybe me as a land owner will remember that next time the school puts up another levy.
  • by Brian Location: Belpre on Jun 21, 2011 at 02:35 PM
    I have to agree with Glen. That many batteries would definately be too much for a standard SUV. It wouldn't be hard to find someone who was trying to pawn/recycle that many batteries at once anyway. You would think that these buses would be fenced in.
  • by Hmmm on Jun 21, 2011 at 12:45 PM
    Just thinking , someone removed two catalytic converters and fifty batteries in 45 minutes? there has to be more to the story
    • reply
      by Why? on Dec 2, 2011 at 08:51 AM in reply to Hmmm
      Why does this confuese you? You thing thieves are slow? Nope. They are not "working" on a car when they steal the parts. The cut them off with power tools and bolt cutters. Pretty quick stuff.
  • by Amanda Location: WV on Jun 21, 2011 at 12:17 PM
  • by Concerened Location: Marietta on Jun 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM
    First off Frontier Schools are in Ohio not Parkersburg, and that about covers three-fourths of the vehicles in Ohio also. I'm a little concerened Sheriff Minks says they could be charged with a felony if caught so therefore they will probably get off scott free.
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