'Reckless' thief stole bus before going on joyride
A bus company has described the actions of a man who stole one of its vehicles before taking it on a joyride as reckless.
It is thought the man may have stolen the Stagecoach bus from Exeter Bus Station as a way of getting home after a night out in the city.
He even used bus lanes along a route from Exeter City Centre to Powderham Castle as and it is thought he may live close to where it was recovered, undamaged. Police believe the skill with which the bus was driven could mean the thief may be an experienced driver of large vehicles.
Clear CCTV images taken from the bus show the moment the thief got in the vehicle and started it up. He made no attempt to conceal his identity.
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A spokesman said: "The bus was stolen from the main city centre bus station in Belgrave Road and recovered near Powderham Castle, Church Street, Kenton."
The theft occurred between 12.30am and 1.35am on Saturday, September 21. The bus was recovered at about 2am.
It is believed the vehicle may have travelled through Heavitree, along Topsham Road to Countess Wear and on to the Dawlish road, stopping at Kenton. That is the normal route the bus would have taken had it been in service.
A Stagecoach spokesman said the systems it has for tracking buses meant it was quickly recovered and the company describes the theft as "reckless". He said: "It's fortunate no one was injured due to the reckless actions of this individual, and we managed to recover the bus undamaged."
If anybody recognises the man they should contact PC 5699 Dave Mills at Heavitree Road Police Station, calling 101 and quoting DE/13/8857. Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.