Man jailed in Stevens County after stealing school bus in cross-state spree

Staff Writer

A main was jailed in Stevens County earlier this week, after stealing a school bus, hitchhiking across the state and driving a front loader into his home.

Sheriff's officials say the 39-year-old man was wearing a yellow dress in Steilacoom, after being released from Western State Hospital—one of two state-owned psychiatric hospitals for adults in Washington. He was then seen walking along Highway 2 near Leavenworth that evening, before stealing the bus from Osprey Rafting.

Douglas County deputies were in pursuit through Wenatchee, but had to discontinue their efforts due to new police reform laws that do not allow law enforcement to continue pursuits unless there is cause to believe a serious felony has occurred. The bus was found near Moses Lake, and police lost track of the man as he hitchhiked to Spokane and then Chewelah.

On Sunday, the man stole a front loader and crashed it into his own house, after his wife had fled the property upon learning he may be coming.

He was then taken into custody in Stevens County and booked for investigation of motor vehicle theft, attempting to elude police and first-degree malicious mischief.