Police: Teen Runaway Steals Charter Bus for Interstate Joyride

A 14-year-old runaway from Chicago stole a charter bus and drove it on a northern Indiana highway until a small fire broke out under the vehicle, state troopers said.

A caller reported to police Monday that a charter bus was being driven erratically, weaving between lanes on Interstate 80 and leaving a trail of sparks from its muffler. The caller said the bus hit a construction wall and pulled off to the side when a small fire started under the bus.

The driver extinguished the fire and attempted to restart the bus, the witness said.

Trooper Khari Walton found the bus along I-80 and the boy trying to hide along the shoulder wall. The teen admitted that he stole the 1991 Vanhool Charter Bus in Chicago, police said. The owner of the bus was unaware that it was missing and said he would call Chicago police to report it stolen.

The teen was taken to the Lake County Juvenile Center in Crown Point and charged with possession of a stolen vehicle.