(5 PM) Children’s Home Responds After Bus Stolen From Randolph School

A stolen bus from the Randolph Central School District was recovered Monday in Jamestown. Three youths are facing charges in the theft. Photo by Megan Murphy

RANDOLPH — New Directions, the nonprofit agency that operates Randolph Children’s Home from which three teenagers who stole a Randolph Central School bus reside, commented on the recent incident and clarified that the youths’ actions had not gone unnoticed.

The three Randolph children were charged with two counts of third-degree burglary, second-degree grand larceny and third-degree criminal mischief after they broke into the Randolph Central School District bus garage, gained control of a school bus and drove it 17 miles to Jamestown. They were apprehended by Ellicott police officers in Celoron, and the boss was recovered and returned to the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office.

“New Directions regards the safety, care and supervision of the children in our care as our highest priority,” said Mark Wickerham, director of Randolph Residential and Community Based Programs. “As a treatment facility for children with emotional and behavioral challenges, we sometimes encounter situations that defy even the most carefully designed procedures.

“We regret the occurrence of events of the night of Jan. 6, 2019, and understand the potential for danger that was created. We are working closely with the youth’s referring sources to find options that meet the needs of the youth involved. We are also meeting and working diligently with local law enforcement, counties, school districts and the community to restore and uphold safety for all.”

The Randolph Central School District declined to comment further on the situation. The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office had no further information to release beyond the police report filed Monday, the day proceeding the overnight incident.

On Monday morning, the bus was found in front of a Clinton Street residence near West Eighth Street. Law enforcement later learned that the trio allegedly ran away from the children’s home, broke into the facilities and gained control of the bus.

The 17-year-old male is being held in the Cattaraugus County Jail on $5,000 bail, and the 16-year-old male and 14-year-old female were remanded to the East Ferry Juvenile Detention Center. They are scheduled to appear in court at later dates.