Santa Barbara – Just a couple hours after midnight on May 30th, Santa Barbara High School’s Peabody Stadium was lit up by Santa Barbara Police Department patrol units arriving pursuant to citizen reports of sounds of breaking glass on the campus. Lights from the cop cars froze the images of two young men in their beam…but only momentarily. Summarily abandoning their mischievous work of removing hinges from the stadium snack bar, the two suspects promptly fled the area.
Immediate investigation into the snack bar efforts revealed evidence of an attempted break-in, as well as stolen power and hand tools. There was no trace of the perpetrators, however.
The following morning, school staff discovered considerable vandalism damage to the school auditorium that included broken windows, damaged curtains, and graffiti throughout the area, from which additional tools had been stolen. According to SBPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, school staff then perused security system video files which revealed clear images of Halen Bretz, 19, and Luis Najera, 19, both former students at the school, in the act of perpetrating their crimes.
With that information in hand, SBPD Detectives contacted Bretz and Najera at their respective residences and took them into custody for questioning. According to Harwood, both young men “admitted their involvement” while at the station. “The subjects stated they attempted to gain entry into the school by breaking a front window, then broke through a window to the rear of the building,” Harwood said.
Bretz and Najera were summarily removed to Santa Barbara County Jail where they were booked on charges of Felony Burglary and Felony Vandalism. No details regarding bail amounts are currently available.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
Santa BArbara Independent: Two Teens Arrested for Trashing High School Auditorium