Apparently a coat of blue paint isn't the most effective disguise for a stolen school bus.
Deputies arrested a fugitive on Thursday in Ladson, South Carolina, after they discovered him in the woods inside a school bus that had been stolen earlier in the week, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.
The school bus was two miles from Little People Big World Academy, the daycare whose vehicle had gone missing Monday night or Tuesday morning, deputies said.
As deputies walked up to the bus in the woods, they heard Bryan Taylor Woltz, 27, moving about inside, WCSC reports. But Woltz wasn’t apprehended without a struggle. Deputies shouted at Woltz to put his hands where deputies could see them, but he didn't cooperate. Eventually deputies had to pry open the bus doors to get to Woltz, who was arrested at the scene following a short struggle.
Woltz told deputies he had backed the stolen bus into the woods where it was found, and had spent two days repainting it blue. He said he had also been chopping down nearby trees, hoping to use the foliage to further conceal the bus, WCSC reports.
Cans of blue spray paint were everywhere, deputies said. There was also a “white crystal material” in Woltz' possession. Testing at the crime scene revealed it was methamphetamine, according to the sheriff’s office.
“Ever wonder what your brain does on drugs?” the sheriff’s office asked in a Facebook post announcing Woltz' arrest. “One possibility is that it makes you like really blue paint.”
Deputies took Woltz to the Hill Finklea Detention Center, the sheriff’s office said. Woltz was also wanted on an outstanding second-degree burglary warrant in Dorchester County.
Jail records indicate that bond for Woltz has not been set.
The 2006 Blue Bird short bus that was stolen could carry 16 passengers, the daycare told WCIV. It had “Little People Big World Academy” emblazoned on each side. The bus was valued at $25,500 and it was white — or it had been, before Woltz was through with it, the sheriff’s office said.
Ladson, where the bus was recovered, is just north of Charleston, South Carolina. Deputies started searching for the vechicle in the wooded area after a local gave them a tip that it might be there, WCSC reports.
Woltz was wanted in December after he allegedly cut a hole in the rear of an ice machine building to get into a restaurant, the Summerville Journal Scene reports. The incident left $2,000 in damage, but only $98 was taken from the restaurant, the newspaper reports. Fingerprints from the restaurant were identified as Woltz’.