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Vandalism, diesel fuel theft don't stop Greater Latrobe opening

| Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, 10:42 p.m.

Vandals who stuffed caulk into the ignitions of 20 school buses and then siphoned about 9,000 gallons of diesel fuel from a Westmoreland County bus depot's storage tank during the weekend did not hinder the opening of Greater Latrobe School District on Monday.

“We were able to get everything ready and out on schedule this morning, but the theft (of the diesel fuel) still really bothers me ... they certainly didn't steal it using 5-gallon cans,” said Tom Oleyar, manager for A.J. Myers and Sons' Derry Township depot. Myers has the transportation contract with Greater Latrobe School District.

State police Trooper Christopher Cole said employees arriving on Sunday to make final preparations for the start of school noticed the vandalism and the large fuel theft. Cole said the fuel is valued at $27,180.

“It could have been two separate incidents, but it was discovered the same day. We were able to clean the buses pretty quickly, and got the buses out without difficulty this morning. They certainly had to have a special vehicle — some kind of a tank truck — to haul that much fuel,” Oleyar said.

Cole said the fuel was siphoned out of an above-ground holding tank at the facility along Menasha Lane.

Oleyar said officials are not certain when the vandalism and theft occurred. The vandals also stuffed caulk into a door frame on the north side of the building.

“When we left Friday afternoon, everything appeared fine here, and there were a couple of buses taken out Saturday, and none of those drivers noticed anything suspicious. It was all discovered Sunday,” Oleyar said.

Myers was having more fuel delivered sometime on Monday.

Cole asked anyone who may have information or noticed anything suspicious near the facility to call state police at 724-832-3288.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or ppeirce@tribweb.com.

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