NJ school-bus aide stole lunch money and lunches from dozens of pre-schoolers: police
Rosa M. Rios (Cumberland County Jail)

Authorities in New Jersey said this week that a school-bus aid robbed children as young as 3 years old of their lunch money and bag lunches.

According to police in Millville, an investigation determined that 33-year-old Rosa M. Rios had stolen from 29 children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old.

Police said that the crime was discovered by Officer Michelle Reeves, who was investigating whether money was stolen from a bus driver when she spotted Rios rummaging through children's backpacks on bus security video.

The alleged thefts began in early January and continued until early February when she was discovered.

"Through our proactive process that reviews our bus footage, members of my staff noticed suspicious behavior," Millville Board of Education Superintendent David Gentile of Millville Public Schools wrote in a letter to parents. "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."

Rios was charged on Feb. 20 with robbery and theft. She was booked into the Cumberland County Jail, and was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Police said that Rios was no longer an employee of Sheppard Bus Service. She had worked for the company for about seven years.