Update: School Bus with Painted Over Name Tries to Pick up Children in Southwest Michigan

October 19, 2017 Updated: October 19, 2017

This story was updated at 3:50 p.m. on Oct. 19 with information on the identity of the bus.

A school district in southwest Michigan warned parents and students on Thursday, Oct. 19 about an unmarked school bus that tried to pick children up at a bus stop.

The Van Buren School District said in an alert that an unmarked school bus was seen stopping in the West Willow neighborhood of Ypsilanti Township around 7:20 a.m.

“Do Not Allow your students to approach any bus not clearly marked with Van Buren Public Schools on it,” Pam Johnson, executive assistant to the superintendent, wrote on the district’s website.

The Washington County Sheriff’s office said in a Nixle alert that the letters on the bus seemed to have been spray painted over, and that when the students did not get on the bus, the driver sped off.

“A short time ago deputies located the bus and have confirmed that it belongs to a transportation company. It was also confirmed that the route and timing of the bus was consistent with the job they were contracted to do,” the sheriff’s office said.

Peter Kudlak, district superintendent, told MLive that a parent had been with the children and didn’t let them get on the bus.

The parent told authorities that something didn’t seem right when the bus overshot the stop, reported WDIV Local 4.

“Clearly unmarked school buses are not affiliated with any school district,” Kudlak told the MLive. “It’s marked the same on first day of school as on the 20th day of school.”

Two other sightings of unmarked buses were reported the same day.

Derrick Jackson of the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office told MLive they were notified of a similarly unmarked bus near Michigan Avenue and Prospect Street in the Ypsilanti Township area.

Another unmarked bus was reported at the Belleville Manor mobile home community at about 8:30 a.m., Van Buren Township Director of Public Safety Greg Laurain, told MLive.

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