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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thieves are stealing batteries from parked school buses in north Mississippi. Police believe the crooks want to trade batteries for cash.

Dean Bobo owns Magnolia Kindergarten across the street from the south Panola school bus shop. She was shocked to find out eight batteries were stolen off buses parked in this lot.

“I just heard the fence was cut and something was taken from the school bus shop. We all pay for those buses and equipment, and it’s used for children to transport them back and forth to school,” she said.

Batesville Police say it happened May 2 when someone cut the lock on the fence of the shop on Eureka Road.

“They stole numerous tools and eight commercial batteries, which is a very unusual theft. These were brand new batteries,” Captain George Williford said.

The batteries weigh upwards of 40 pounds and cost as much as $150 a piece. But South Panola isn’t the only school district targeted by thieves.

Investigators are looking into incidents at the Oxford City School’s bus shop and at the shop in Calhoun City where more then eight batteries were stolen. A security camera in Oxford caught a picture of the suspect’s vehicle cruising in the bus shop lot on May 1. An alarm was activated and the suspects drove away.

Police are concerned the thieves will be tempted to continue stealing as summer approaches.

“It’s a target rich environment in that there are a lot of school buses. Some have alarms, some have cameras and some don’t,” Williford said.

If you see anything suspicious call the Batesville Police Department.