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Everyday I Take The Bus...
February 19, 2010 6:03 AM   Subscribe

Trending Now: Bus Thievery On The rise.
posted by Xurando (42 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
So let's get this straight: if they want to get wired, they become serial bus thieves?
posted by MuffinMan at 6:11 AM on February 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


"Lorries couldn't replace the buzz of driving buses, though, and soon after I took another one."
posted by MuffinMan at 6:23 AM on February 19, 2010


Where's Epic Beard Man when you need him?
posted by nitsuj at 6:28 AM on February 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who among us hasn't thought about stealing a bus? Or construction equipment? "For giggles," indeed.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:31 AM on February 19, 2010


A cyclist was killed last year when its owner left the keys to his unlocked truck in the ashtray.

Serves him right. I used to own a cyclist, and they're a pain in the ass.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:40 AM on February 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


Is stealing a school bus ahead of the trend?
posted by trueluk at 6:42 AM on February 19, 2010 [1 favorite]



Who among us hasn't thought about stealing a bus? Or construction equipment? "For giggles," indeed.


I haven't. It sounds stupid and reckless.
posted by zombieApoc at 6:45 AM on February 19, 2010


Something something Keanu Reeves.
posted by Sailormom at 6:55 AM on February 19, 2010


I don't even want to drive a mini-van. A bus? No, please.

A golf cart, though? Hmm....
posted by jeanmari at 7:01 AM on February 19, 2010


Amatuers. My dream is to steal a train.
posted by srboisvert at 7:05 AM on February 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was fascinated with the story of a kid who stole a bus in Florida and drove the regular route, picking up passengers and collecting fares.
MSNBC: "I drove that bus better than most of the LYNX drivers could," the teen, who is too young to drive legally, told a deputy after he was stopped and arrested. "There isn't a scratch on it. I know how to start it, drive it, lower it, raise it.

Passengers and deputies noted Davis drove the bus at normal speeds and made all the appropriate stops on the route."
This after he took two tour buses and drove those passengers around. Not that it's this simple, but dang, don't sentence the kid to much jail time, get him in a driving program and give him a job. He obviously has a thing for (safely) operating buses. I wonder what he's doing now.
posted by cashman at 7:16 AM on February 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


A golf cart, though? Hmm....

Just, whatever you do, don't take it on the M4!
posted by kalimac at 7:24 AM on February 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who among us hasn't thought about stealing a bus?

I specifically remember this fantasy in late junior high, making stops and driving the route.
Then I'd head cross-country, picking up hitchikers who would chip in for gas money.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:34 AM on February 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who among us hasn't thought about stealing a bus?

I found a (de-weaponized) armored personnel carrier in the woods a few days ago, which had obviously been sitting there for a very long time. I took pictures but after the fact I'm surprised I didn't try firing it up. It probably wouldn't have even turned over.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:38 AM on February 19, 2010


Eh, maybe I've been playing too much Fallout 3, but dunkadunc -- on the off-chance that your APC was last used by wackos, you want to maybe check for traps before doing anything with it?

(I have no idea what "checking for traps" might entail other than rolling a d20)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:40 AM on February 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure it had been left there by the Department of Conservation.
Still. Driving one of those things has been something I've dreamed about since I was like, you know, three.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:49 AM on February 19, 2010


pic
posted by dunkadunc at 7:49 AM on February 19, 2010


Holy cow -- on tracks?! That's incredible.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:56 AM on February 19, 2010


Do you know any mechanics? I'm guessing it wouldn't take a whole lot of beer to get that thing running.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:57 AM on February 19, 2010


Then I'd head cross-country, picking up hitchikers who would chip in for gas money.

That sounds like a horrible idea for a horror movie. Manson Express?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:59 AM on February 19, 2010


I blame video games.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:11 AM on February 19, 2010


Who the hell is this Chav person? And why is he always drunk?
posted by Skygazer at 8:55 AM on February 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I found a (de-weaponized) armored personnel carrier in the woods a few days ago,

Holy crap. That would be just about the best find, as a kid, as I could imagine. How they hell did it get there??

Also, I remember clearly wanting to steal a bus when I was in High School...it seemed pretty feasible strangely, taking a nice big friendly floaty city bus for a while, buses seem like big friendly creatures.
posted by Skygazer at 9:00 AM on February 19, 2010


Dunkadunc, did you at least check the glove compartment for porn?
posted by nicepersonality at 9:09 AM on February 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Indeed, Cashman.. I can't really look it up now, but I clearly remember reading in one of the books dealing with "weird news" about a teenager who showed up at a MTA subway center in NYC, told the dispatcher he was the substitute driver, and was assigned a subway to operate.

He made at least one run, stopping at all the stops, and was on time, but negotiated a curve in the tracks too fast and caused a minor accident.

He told the press that we was going to be a subway driver when he grew up, and the cops let him go because they were reluctant to prosecute "a folk hero."

Happened in the late seventies, IIRC. Some people just really, really want to be people movers.
posted by mreleganza at 9:17 AM on February 19, 2010


I found a (de-weaponized) armored personnel carrier in the woods a few days ago

Hey, one man's decommissioned APC is another man's porn.

hooray, first post on the blue
posted by indubitable at 9:47 AM on February 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


So we can look forward to years' worth of headlines that read "Stolen Bus Plunges Off Roadway"?
posted by mudpuppie at 9:50 AM on February 19, 2010


Clearly these bus thefts are part of a larger story; I'm thinking that somewhere out there someone is holding an illegal high-speed cross country Cannonball rally using buses in the dead of night when no one else is on the roads.

Which would be, quite frankly, fucking awesome to participate in.

dunkadunc : I found a (de-weaponized) armored personnel carrier in the woods a few days ago,

You need to get that thing started, and come over and pick us up. It will be the official MeFi road trip APC. We'll take it and invade Mexico (where "invade" involves buying some drinks and finding a nice beach to relax on.)

posted by quin at 10:07 AM on February 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I haven't. It sounds stupid and reckless

Like everything else even remotely fun!
posted by Kirk Grim at 10:11 AM on February 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Has anyone else spent a Saturday afternoon playing GTA, then walked outside and upon seeing a bus or cop car thought for a split second "I'm taking that"?
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:35 AM on February 19, 2010


Then I'd head cross-country, picking up hitchikers who would chip in for gas money.

That sounds like a horrible idea for a horror movie. Manson Express?


Yeah, considered that, and had the idea that the presence of strangers, provided the first guy you pick up wasn't the werewolf psycho, would create a disincentive to painting the bus red. Just make sure there are always multiple people awake. *peers over shoulder as the bus hurtles through the black praire night* Always awake...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:15 AM on February 19, 2010


I used to have a fantasy where I would pick up a hitchhiker...who would then attempt to rob me at knife or gun point. Cackling with maniacal glee, I would then slam the accelerator all the way to the floor...and taunt him, "Do it! Do it now motherfucker! Hahahahahhaaa..."

And yes, I have thoroughly imagined all the possible outcomes. Once I had kids, I stopped picking up hitchhikers. Sorry guys.
posted by Xoebe at 12:00 PM on February 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mayor Curley, the first time I played GTA3 I played it for about 20 straight hours. At the end of that period, I had to pick up my (then) girlfriend from work. I hopped in the truck to drive over to where she worked and passed by an ambulance parked on the side of the road. As I approached it, this thought entered my brain: "Man, I'm a little short on funds this month. I should steal that and earn a little extra cash."

It took a few seconds before I realized that wasn't a really good (or viable) money-making option.
posted by barnacles at 12:32 PM on February 19, 2010


Top Gear: Bus Racing, Touring-Car Style
posted by dunkadunc at 12:36 PM on February 19, 2010


Stealing buses is for wimps. Me, I place bombs on buses that are set to explode if the bus goes below 50 MPH.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:49 PM on February 19, 2010


Somewhere, Peter Parker is taking a vacation in London going "The fuck now?"
posted by The Whelk at 1:23 PM on February 19, 2010


I once met a man who used to steal planes. Or that's what he claimed, anyway. The circumstances of our acquaintanceship were such that I had no way of checking his veracity at the time, and since then I haven't wanted to find out if it was true, since it was such a colorful story.

Anyway, the claim was that he suffered from serious depression as a young man, and whenever the blues got really bad he'd go to the airport (we have one in the middle of town, so access is easy), stroll around the tarmac until he found an appropriate plane, then jump in and take it for a joyride. He flew around the sky feeling happy for awhile, then land the plane on the same spot he took it from and walk away with no one the wiser. Now this sounds pretty far fetched, because you'd think the tower would notice the unauthorized flights, and the pilots would certainly notice the empty gas tanks - but he said that this happened back in the late sixties and early seventies when airport security was crap, and the planes were small propeller types like Cessnas, so it wasn't like he was stealing passenger jets to Hawaii. He said that he did it over a dozen times and didn't get caught until the end (which was a suicide attempt and a different story), and even after he was arrested they let him off lightly because he was mentally ill.

Don't know his story was true or not, but I wonder if some of the bus thieves in these stories commit their crimes for the same reason he claimed to: that is, it makes them feel good to do something big and foolish, that can't be undone. Maybe it breaks them out of the tedium of their daily lives.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:52 PM on February 19, 2010


I don't see why you couldn't file a flight plan for a plane and take it for a little joyride. You could stroll the tarmac, pick out a plane, and then file your plan by phone using the plane ident. Especially if you can get in and find the pilot ID papers.

Once I had kids, I stopped picking up hitchhikers. Sorry guys.

The most obviously dangerous hitchhiker I picked up (well, more obvious once we got talking...) was also the one I was most, um, "prepared" for. I'd had really good experiences that summer picking up other hitchhikers, and I see this guy and think "NO WAY". Uh-uh. That guy doesn't look right. I pass him by. Well, instantly doubt sinks in, I feel bad, tell myself that I'm just being paranoid, and I actually turn around and go back and get him. Well, this guy is nuts. He rants and raves about the RCMP. I mean, that's all he does. He has a gym bag full of stolen library materials (I know I have the right audience for that aspect of the story), and he's twitchy as all fuck. I'm by myself and there's a long drive ahead. The longer I'm in there with him, the more certain I am that he's appraising the situation -- can he take the car? Will I pose a problem? And for my part I wonder whether trying to kick him out will just thrust that course of action on him.

Me, I'd just finished one of my long solo hiking/camping trips, so while I'm skinny as all get out, I'm also browned from sun, and a hairy-looking mountain man of a character by this point. I also stink. You can see him taking all of this in. What he isn't taking in is the large machete under my seat. (it *was* a long solo hike)

So we ride like that for a long, long way. Him eyeing me and me wondering how fast I can access this machete and what I can do with it in a confined space without running us both off the road. After a few hours of this, as we're nearing the agreed-upon destination, he hits me up for a stay at my place and I refuse. We both move slowly. He leaves. I drive off.

(I'm sure others have better/worse stories, but thinking about that one still raises my blood pressure)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:19 PM on February 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Trending Now: People Who Assume A Few Incidents Is A Trend Without Any Real Evidence To That Effect On The Rise.
posted by koeselitz at 9:40 PM on February 19, 2010


Also Trending Now: Use Of 'Trend' As A Verb On The Rise.
posted by koeselitz at 9:42 PM on February 19, 2010


Who among us hasn't thought about stealing a bus? Or construction equipment? "For giggles," indeed.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:31 AM on February 19 [+] [!]


amazingly, until like the early 2000s, heavy equipment manufacturers didn't have unique ignition keys for the vehicles/equipment (just one master key per type), and it wasn't long before that that they bothered to switch to keyed ignitions at all - it was all just, press a button, drive away. even now, unless somebody's gone to a lot of trouble to install a keyed ignition, those older machines are ready to walk home with you, and they're made to run for millions of hours.

mostly, it was obscurity - everybody that could drive a trackhoe or a gradall or whatever, already had a job doing that. but during the various economic troughs, people with the skillset but no employment turned, amazingly, to a life of crime. as an insurance adjuster, I bought some new graders and whatnot for people who'd had theirs walk off. one guy tracked his grader on foot across like 10 miles of desert and called me on a cellphone. Him: "I can see it. it's in this transient village. the guy that took it is over there, sleeping in a tent." Me: "So call the cops? I'll send a wrecker later if you need it, unless you want to drive it home?" Him: "Oh, ok."

best part of that job - daylong trip to the big Caterpiller-Ringhaver yard in Sarasota. it was like going to the real dinosaur factory.
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:53 PM on February 19, 2010


I've always entertained thoughts of stealing an unlocked train myself and get it on the Trans-Siberian network. That is all.
posted by the cydonian at 2:47 AM on February 20, 2010


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