|10/16/2020 10:45:00 AM|
Heartland bus driver faces charges
A bus driver for Heartland Express faces felony theft charges for allegedly pocketing multiple fares that riders handed over as they boarded her bus. Incidents between September 30 and October 16, 2019 were cited in the criminal complaint.
Driver Bambi Olseen, 64 of Sunrise, was booked and released last week. Charges of felony theft of public funds were filed in February 2020 but due to covid-19 shutdowns and phased-in court reopening, the case saw some delays. There is an evidentiary hearing scheduled for December 16.
According to the summons complaint, the Heartland Express Transit Supervisor had been reviewing videotape of Olseen’s bus after a complaint was received about an erratic driver on the road in a Heartland Express bus. Video recording equipment on the bus allegedly showed fares being exchanged and Olseen not depositing them in the fare box. Over three days, alleged incidents cited in the complaint occurred on routes in Chisago County.
Isanti County Sheriff’s investigators looked into the matter after being alerted by the acting Isanti County Administrator. Heartland Express is a shared transit system with Chisago County, and Isanti County is responsible for employees.
According to investigators, Olseen maintained she held onto fares to be able to make change. Later in interviews she stated that some riders short the box and she was monitoring actual fares being deposited, but didn’t want to count the cash in front of the rider.