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In New York Area, Stealing Buses is Easy


An investigative report finds that a joyride is well within the realm of possibility.

Need a job? Want to drive a bus? In the New York/New Jersey area, you don't even need a commercial license to get the keys to one -- they're sitting out in the open for the taking.

After a man recently stole a bus and drove it to Kennedy Airport, the New York Daily News thought it would see if the feat could be repeated. The answer is "yes!"

Reporter Mike Jaccarino recounts:

Amazingly, Trailways [the bus company] had left the keys in the ignition again. I got behind the wheel and started the engine, heard its growl and felt its rumble. I resisted the temptation to drive off, turned off the bus and slowly walked out as if nothing happened.

But as if that isn't bad enough, another Daily News reporter, Lore Croghan, did the same thing at the same bus depot the following day:

Sunday afternoon when I showed up, the depot gate was open wide. I walked right in. I was plenty conspicuous, carrying a big leather-bound notebook and wearing a floor-length skirt that couldn't be mistaken for a bus driver's uniform. But there wasn't a living soul to notice me.

After finding a bus she liked, she looked in and "saw a silvery key gleaming in the ignition. The passenger door opened with a flick of my wrist. I stepped right in, no problem. It was mine for the taking."

The bus depot would not respond to the Daily News'srequest for comment. The man who took the bus on a joyride to Kennedy Airport claims he has stolen 150 buses in the last decade.

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