Tuesday, March 12, 2013

School Bus Shortage in Chicago: Scrapyard Owner Sergio Quintero, 44, Had Men Steal 8 Schoolbuses, Which Quintero Immediately Began Scrapping; Cops Found Buses Via GPS, and Found Quintero Hiding in a Fake Drop Ceiling in His Office


"A police investigator walks past a pile of bus remnants at SRV Metal Scrapper at 3405 S. Lawndale Ave., on Friday. Buses were reported missing by Sunrise Transportation Thursday night. — John J. Kim, Chicago Tribune, March 8, 2013"

Mug shot of Sergio Quintero, 44

Posted by Nicholas Stix

Owner of scrap company charged after 8 school buses stolen
The owner of a scrap yard on the Far South Side is being held by Chicago Police, after being accused of helping thieves steal and scrap 8 school buses.
Staff report
10:49 p.m. CDT, March 10, 2013
Chicago Tribune

The owner of a scrap company where the remains of several school buses were found after being stolen from the Far South Side has been charged with illegal possession of auto titles, police said.

The name of the Sunrise bus company could be seen on shards of metal in the yard at SRV Metal Scrapper and Gonzalez Auto Parts & Dismantling, 3405 S. Lawndale Avenue, police said.
Initially, four people were taken into custody, including the owner of the company, Sergio Quintero, 44, who was charged late Saturday with felony possession of a title or registration that has not been assigned, said Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.

Quintero, of the 4400 block of South Drake Avenue, was ordered held in lieu of $25,000 bail in a hearing in Cook County Bond Court midday today.

Crime Scenes

• 3405 South Lawndale Avenue, Chicago, IL 60623, USA
• South Torrence Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA

Those involved in scrapping stolen vehicles often will use partially blank title documents to make it appear that they held title to a stolen vehicle prior to its being scrapped, officials say.

Police searched the scrap dealer starting about 7 a.m. Friday, and about 2:15 p.m., they found Quintero in the false ceiling of the parts yard's office, trying to hide from officers, Mirabelli said.

The 40-foot-long buses, capable of seating 75 people, were stolen sometime overnight Thursday from the bus company's yard in the 10000 block of South Torrence Avenue on the far South Side and were not discovered missing until the next morning, police said.

The buses were all equipped with GPS tracking devices, and police were able to track "their entire movement" to the scrap yard on the West Side, police said. Three of the buses were torn apart using heavy equipment, police said.

When officers arrived at the business, several people who apparently worked in the scrap yard ran into a building, police said. Officers initially apprehended one person and later took two others into custody. The owner was arrested about 2:15 p.m. on Friday.

"There was a pile of shredded school buses about two stories high," one police official said. Some pieces were large enough that police could see the Sunrise bus logo, the official said.

Engines and transmissions from the buses had already been cut in half, and the seats tossed in a "big pile of scrap."


For more, see “Below the Fold”: “Chicago: Where’d the School Buses Go?” (Video Report)

No comments: