By Jackie Stone

The Cove Herald

Two school buses were broken into and one was set on fire outside Copperas Cove High School over winter break.

Cove police spokesman Lt. Daniel Austin said officers responded at 10.30 p.m. Dec. 30 to a report of smoke on the Avenue D side of the school.

When officers arrived, windows had been broken on both buses and apparently, a fire had been intentionally set in a seat on one of the buses, Austin said.

The two buses are kept in a secure area and used by the school's athletic department for local transportation, said Gary Elliott, CCISD director of transportation.

Earlier that evening, the school hosted the second night of the Bush's Chicken Holiday Classic basketball tournament. Elliott said the buses were not in use that night.

Smoke and fire damage to one bus was estimated at $10,000, Austin said.

The other bus had no fire damage but had an estimated $550 in damage for a broken windshield.

Austin said Tuesday no suspects in the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call Copperas Cove Crime Stoppers at (254) 547-1111.

Crime Stoppers is anonymous and pays up to $10,000 if the tip leads to an arrest or prosecution. Austin said vandalism is fairly typical during the school district's winter break.

"These are ever-present problems, but sometimes they do have a tendency during school breaks from school to go up," he said. "I can't recall anyone ever breaking into a bus to set it on fire before."

Contact Jackie Stone at or (254) 501-7474. Follow Jackie at @KDHcoveeditor.

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