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Kerkhoven-based co. has bus stolen in New Jersey

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A Kerkhoven tour company's bus was stolen from a group of five buses parked Saturday in a Secaucus, N.J., hotel parking lot during a two-day trip to New York City.

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Chuck Rustad, owner of Rustad Tour's, said he woke up early Saturday morning to a call from his driver wondering where the bus was. After a quick search around the hotel, he realized it had been stolen.

"I went to the front desk to call the police, and they didn't believe me," Rustad said. "When the police arrived, I don't think they believed me either."

Rustad's wife, Jean, said the bus was last seen around 1 a.m. Saturday in the hotel parking lot.

Police found the bus Sunday in Newark, N.J. Electronics, tools, some clothing, 200 gallons of fuel and medication had been stolen.

Jean Rustad said within an hour of the bus going missing, she had another bus company lined up to take the stranded passengers to New York City. By Sunday night, another motor coach was available to finish the trip.

The stolen bus is now in Minneapolis undergoing repairs. A damage estimate was not provided.

Chuck Rustad said this is the first bus he's had stolen during his 38 years in the business.

"It's just a funny thing to have happen," he said. "I never dreamed somebody would take a bus."

The tour group began its trip June 15 and is currently in Washington, D.C. The party is slated to return Sunday.

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