In a move reminiscent of “The Grinch,” someone in New York City stole a bus, drove it around for a few hours and then returned it to where they found it.
On Sunday evening, somebody found an unattended New York City bus parked in the Bronx, climbed inside, pushed the keyless ignition button and drove off to Queens.
“I heard about this and I thought that was a joke,” one city bus driver told the New York Post. “The problem is, you have a lot of people who have a fantasy about driving a city bus, and when you leave a bus out there in the open with no one inside, you’re at risk of someone stealing it.”
But within eight hours, the bus-napper drove back up to the Bronx and left the bus about a half-mile from where they found it.
The bus reportedly went missing around 8 p.m. on Sunday. It’s unclear when Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials actually noticed that the vehicle was missing. But by 4 a.m. on Monday morning, the bureau discovered — via the bus’s built-in GPS — that the vehicle had been taken on a joyride to a different borough. Whoever stole the bus had a change of heart at some point and turned around, driving back to the Bronx and leaving the bus parked about a half-mile from where they found it.
This is not the first time that a New York City bus has been stolen and taken for a ride. Because the buses do not require a key to operate, or even a keyless fob, anybody can climb in, press the “start” button and take off. One city bus driver told the New York Post that it was “a big problem.” Last year, a man in Staten Island was sentenced to one year in prison after stealing several buses.
New York police are still investigating the incident. So far, no one has been charged in relation to the case.