MILLVILLE, N.J. – Rosa Rios is a real class act.
The New Jersey bus aide stands accused of stealing lunch money from 3- and 4-year-old students on their way to Millville Public Schools. Police contend she also swiped their bagged lunches, the Courier-Post reports.
“It looks like she was trying to take advantage of them,” Det. Lt. Jody Farabella told the news site. “Sheppard did the best thing by firing her. It’s also good for the district to let parents know things are OK.”
Sheppard Bus Service fired Rios, 33, last week after reviewing on-board camera footage at the request of a bus driver who reported nearly $400 missing. Rios, who is also under investigation for that theft, was allegedly caught on video snatching items from as many as 29 students’ backpacks on the way to school, the Press of Atlantic City reports.
Police believe the thefts began in January and continued into this month. The school board sent a letter home with students explaining the situation, according to NJ.com.
“Through our proactive process that reviews our bus footage, members of my staff noticed suspicious behavior,” Superintendent David Gentile said. “Once brought to my attention, I immediately involved the authorities and worked collaboratively to protect our students. She was removed immediately from all Millville bus routes indefinitely.”
Police continue to investigate exactly how much money in total Rios allegedly stole from the youngsters.
Rios had worked for Sheppard Bus Service for about seven years. She was charged with robbery and theft on Friday, and lodged in the Cumberland County Jail on a $70,000 bail, the Press of Atlantic City reports.
News of the allegations prompted the appropriate reaction from parents and others online.
“Can a human get any lower in life than this?” Jib Blose questioned on Facebook.
“Can’t get any lower than stealing candy from a baby!” Lues Lopez replied.
Millville resident Patti Schneider Crockett wrote that she knows Rios well.
“This was my daughter’s one-on-one aide for five years, my daughter is autistic,” Crockett posted. “Just makes me so sad.”
Many others simply couldn’t believe someone would steal from little children.
“There’s low. And then there’s whale poop low,” Ibibigboy posted to NJ.com. “If I had to rate this fiasco …”
“I can’t even grasp how someone would even think to do this. Like who decides one day to go out and risk their job stealing lunches and lunch money from little kids, of all things?” Marc Shakter added.
“She was a bus aide and didn’t know there was a security camera on the bus?” justintime73 questioned. “Sounds like there may be a mental health issue where. Glad she’s away from the children.”