Batteries stolen from school buses in Laveen

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Batteries were stolen out of 11 school buses parked at a bus yard near Dobbins Road and 51st Avenue in Laveen. By Jennifer Thomas Batteries were stolen out of 11 school buses parked at a bus yard near Dobbins Road and 51st Avenue in Laveen. By Jennifer Thomas
Batteries were stolen out of 12 school buses parked at a bus yard near Dobbins Road and 51st Avenue in Laveen. By Jennifer Thomas Batteries were stolen out of 12 school buses parked at a bus yard near Dobbins Road and 51st Avenue in Laveen. By Jennifer Thomas
Batteries were stolen out of 12 school buses parked at a bus yard near Dobbins Road and 51st Avenue in Laveen. By Jennifer Thomas Batteries were stolen out of 12 school buses parked at a bus yard near Dobbins Road and 51st Avenue in Laveen. By Jennifer Thomas

LAVEEN, Ariz. -- Thirty-six batteries were stolen from Laveen Elementary School District buses over the weekend.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, someone cut a chain-link fence to gain access to the district's secured lot near Dobbins Road and 51st Avenue in Laveen.

Twelve buses were broken into and each of their three batteries were removed sometime between 5 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Monday.

There is no suspect information at this time.

District officials called all the parents to notify them of the issue. The district also sent personnel to all of the bus stops Monday morning to make sure the students were supervised and to inform any parents who didn't get the phone message.

"We tried to make the best of a bad situation and keep our students safe," district spokeswoman Karen Menge said.

The buses for five of the district's seven schools were about 45 minutes late to school Monday morning, according to Menge.

Damage to the buses and the replacement cost of the batteries is estimated to be more than $3,000.

The Carquest brand farm and commercial-style batteries were described as Group 31 Batteries Model 31HDS3.

The sheriff's office said the school district has been the target of numerous burglaries recently.

Anyone with with information about the break-in at the bus yard is asked to contact the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office at 602-876-1011 and reference report #12154432.

In June, more than 20 batteries were stolen from Peoria school buses. Police said someone cut a chain-link fence at Peoria Unified School District's Support Services Center near Peoria and 95th avenues and removed about 26 batteries.

The buses were also damaged during the burglary.