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Chase and search follow theft of school bus in Utah

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • An unoccupied school bus was stolen early Thursday from a Utah school district's parking lot
  • Police called off the chase after the bus ran a red light
  • Police are now looking for the suspect, who drove the bus into a tree in Salt Lake City

(CNN) -- Utah police are searching for the person who stole a school bus early Thursday morning, led authorities on a chase and then crashed the vehicle into a tree.

No children were on the bus when it was taken just after 5 a.m. from a Canyons School District parking lot in Sandy, Utah, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Todd Johnson told CNN. After getting on and then off Interstate 15, the bus sideswiped a K-9 patrol car and then got on and off Interstate 80. State police halted their pursuit after the bus driver ran a red light.

Salt Lake City police eventually found the abandoned bus, which had gone off the road and hit a tree. Authorities are now looking for the suspect, who fled on foot, Johnson said.

CNN's Melanie Whitley contributed to this report