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Charter bus stolen, stranding AAU Junior Olympians in Houston

HOUSTON – A team of athletes was almost stranded in Houston after they said someone stole their bus in Humble.

"We had a really good week," coach Brandon Jiles said.

More than 60 athletes with the Motor City Track Team from Detroit, Michigan, battled at the AAU Junior Olympics at Humble ISD's Turner Stadium.

But Saturday, it was hard to celebrate.

"When I heard it, I was like, 'You've got to be kidding me,'" Tammy Smith said.

Instead, they waited in a meeting room at the Best Western Plus on Will Clayton wearing their medals and playing cards to pass the time.

"Our driver dropped us off at Turner Stadium with the intent to fill up for gas," Smith said.

The driver of their rented coach bus stopped at a nearby gas station and went inside to get water Saturday afternoon.

"He said he saw the bus just drive out of the parking lot," Smith said.

The theft left the team nearly stranded at the stadium and in Houston.

The bus company organized another charter hours later, but the theft was still hard for the athletes to believe.

"To steal a bus, that's just as malicious as you can be. If they would've known what the bus was for, that should've been more of a reason for them not to steal it," Jiles said.

The team will stop in Memphis, Tennessee, and load into another bus before driving to Detroit.

The bus company didn't release many details, but officials said they planned to report the incident to police.