Essex

Colchester man jailed for First bus theft

A bus firm has carried out an internal inquiry after a man disguised himself as an employee and drove one of its buses from its Chelmsford depot.

Joshua Cooper, 20, took the single-decker Bluebird bus, operated by First Group, on 14 May after obtaining a uniform from a friend at the company.

The bus was driven two or three miles before Cooper took it into a depot.

Cooper, of Mersea Road, Colchester, was jailed for six months for taking a vehicle without the owner's permission.

He also admitted driving without insurance or a licence.

Chelmsford Magistrates' Court heard no passengers were on board the bus when it was taken.

It is understood Cooper had been turning up at the depot in the uniform for a couple of weeks before he took the vehicle.

He had told workers he was from another depot.

A spokesman for First said the vehicle taken was not a public bus but one which "transports drivers between the bus depot and the bus station".

First would not say whether anybody else faced disciplinary action in connection with the incident.

It said it had reviewed security and "greater access restrictions" had been introduced, though the firm declined to state what these were.

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