School transport for Melton pupils was put in jeopardy after thieves stole hundreds of litres of fuel from vehicles at a bus park.
Intruders drove into the Central Coaches compound at Asfordby Business Park on Thursday night and made off with nearly £1,000 worth of diesel.
It was taken from two coaches and three double decker buses, which are used to ferry pupils from John Ferneley College, Long Field Academy, MV16 and the Priory Belvoir Academy, at Bottesford, to and from school.
Gary Ross, operations manager at the company, said: “They took just under £1,000 worth of fuel from five vehicles which is a big blow to a small family business like ours.
“We managed to refill all the vehicles in time for them to complete the school journeys on Friday but if we hadn’t been able to it would have been catastrophic for everyone.”
Mr Ross said one of the barriers was broken on the site which enabled the thieves to drive in and take the fuel. He said the company had complained to their landlords before the theft for the barrier to be repaired to secure the site.
He added: “We have got CCTV footage which shows that they used a pump and were pumping the diesel into 25 litre plastic drums.
“It was quite upsetting when we first realised the fuel had been taken - this is the first time anything like this has happened in the four years we have been at the site.”
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: “We are investigating reports of the theft of diesel from a business off St Bartholomew’s Way in Melton.
“It happened at 8.50pm on Thursday and resulted in approximately 400 to 500 litres of fuel being stolen from a number of buses.
“Inquiries are ongoing and CCTV footage is being examined.”
If you saw anything suspicious at the time of the incident call police on 101, quoting the reference 18000040886.