- Associated Press - Friday, April 24, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah sex offender accused of stealing a school bus and trying to pick up children found the keys inside the vehicle, authorities said Friday.

Patrick James Fredricksen, 30, also found a list of students’ names and directions to bus stops on Monday at the rural home of a substitute driver, according to the Emery County Sheriff’s Office.

School officials say that the bus was at the home so the regular driver could pick it up later.

Fredricksen found the bus parked in the small eastern Utah town of Elmo and directions to one girl’s house that doubles as a bus stop, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Janalee Luke.

“The dad gets suspicious, he didn’t recognize the driver, and went out and actually talked to him,” Luke said.

She said Fredricksen drove away when another car arrived and was arrested shortly after asking for directions to another child’s house.

No children were picked up.

School superintendent Kirk Sitterud said the district is looking at a new system for drivers to exchange keys, but the substitute driver followed current policies.

Many rural drivers take buses home, and a list of kids’ names and contact numbers is required for emergencies, he said.

Sitterud said he hasn’t gotten any calls from parents about the incident, though he has spoken with the girl’s father.

“It’s kind of freakish thing,” Sitterud said.

No attorney was listed for Fredricksen in court records, and his phone number was not publicly listed. Luke said he was taken to the Utah State Prison on a parole violation after his arrest.

Fredricksen was placed on Utah’s sex offender registry after he pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual activity with a minor in 2004.

Some residents say they were shaken by the incident. Kori Hansen told Salt Lake City television station KSL-TV that children’s names should be kept with the driver rather than left in buses.

Parent Claron Durrant said she hopes leaders look closely at the policies.

“It takes an incident like this sometimes to make the public aware of what’s going on, and to push the people - whoever is in charge - to make sure changes like that are put into place,” Durrant said.

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