The suspect tried to turn the batteries in to a Garner scrap metal yard Wednesday afternoon. However, the scrap yard had been alerted about the battery thefts via email.
Twenty buses parked at Southeast Raleigh High School on Rock Quarry Road in Raleigh were discovered without batteries early Wednesday morning.
Officials said a total of 61 batteries were stolen from the buses.
An official with the Wake County Public School System told ABC11 that each battery costs about $63.
At this point, it is unknown if more than one suspect was involved in stealing the batteries.
"What could you possibly do with a 50 pound battery," WCPS spokesperson Renee McCoy said. "This is not the size that will fit into your car. On the black market, somebody would immediately identify it as part of that stolen property."
Typically, when a quantity of lead-acid batteries are stolen, authorities said they are sold for scrap value, which would be far less than the school system's estimated replacement cost of over $7,000.
An investigation into the incident remains ongoing.