Charges pending for trio in thefts of school bus, golf cart

Petitions charging two local juveniles were possibly forthcoming by day’s end Tuesday in connection with the alleged theft of a Mecklenburg County Public Schools bus and a citizen-owned golf cart, crimes that reportedly took place Tuesday, Jan. 10. An adult male already faces charges in connection with the thefts, according to Mecklenburg County Sheriff R.W. “Bobby” Hawkins.
The initial investigation into the alleged criminal acts indicated that 18-year-old Johnathan William Cabaniss, a resident of South Hill and student at Park View High School, had been formally taken into custody Friday on an outstanding contempt of court charge issued here in December of 2016 and transported to the Meherrin River Regional Jail with new warrants anticipated in connection with the thefts that took place on property east of Boydton not far from Route 4.
Hawkins said that petitions for the two juveniles who are also suspects in the thefts may be obtained as early as Tuesday (Jan. 17). The sheriff said that the preliminary investigation indicated that the three suspects apparently stole the golf cart then drove the cart to a nearby unoccupied school bus that was equipped with mandatory video surveillance equipment that essentially captured the bulk of the criminal activity in detail.
“Video surveillance shows Cabaniss and the juveniles removing a spare bus key from its emergency storage space, then removing the bus and driving it into a nearby open field where the bus hit a ditch, causing approximately $3,000 in damage to the bus,” said Hawkins. “Once the bus came to a halt, the three can be seen making a hasty departure from the field.”
At press time, there was still reason to believe that a warrant is on file for Cabaniss in Ashland for similar activities.
Cabaniss and the two juveniles, also students at Park View High School, will all face charges in connection with the pair of thefts here, Hawkins said.