Suspected gas thief torches 3 Mat-Su school buses
A Christian school in the Valley is short three school buses after a thief's effort to siphon gas backfired, according to Wasilla Lake Christian School.
Principle Cheralea Purcell said the fire started around 3 a.m. on Saturday. The school's surveillance video captured what appears to be a male bringing a gas can to the bus and filling up. The person came back with a second can when one of the buses caught on fire.
"It’s just so senseless for a small amount of gas that might have been $20, $30 worth of gas-- it’s at least $30,000 at least worth of damage. It’s so senseless and it’s so inconvenient," she said. "I’m so grateful no one was hurt and the building was spared. It could have been far worse."
Purcell is unsure if the man was smoking or what may have sparked the fire. She said the school has been hit by thieves before.
"This is by far not the first time we’ve had people siphoning gas. We’ve had to put the lock tanks on them and we’ve tried all kinds of things. It’s such a huge price to pay for such a small amount of gas. It’s devastating," said Purcell.
Wasilla Lake Christian school took to Facebook on Sunday afternoon to thank first responders and hope their post would help find the suspect.
The three buses are insured, however, the full-sized school bus was a gift and they hadn't used it yet, Purcell said. The buses are used to bring kids to sporting activities around the state.
Soccer starts in July so they're not sure what they're going to do.
There is a GoFundMe account set up with a goal of $10,000 to help pay for the damages.
No suspect information has been released at this time.
Heather Hintze contributed to this story.
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