Two former students were arrested Thursday in connection with a break-in at Santa Barbara High School that left the school’s auditorium in need of cleanup, according to Santa Barbara Police Department.
A nearby resident reported that two suspects were attempting to break into the school’s stadium around 2:51 a.m. Thursday, according to Lt. James Pfleging.
Officers responded to the scene and the suspects fled, but school employees arriving to school later that morning discovered that the vandals had broken into the school’s auditorium before being seen at the stadium, breaking out several windows in the process.
Several fire extinguishers had been broken into, and the suspects appear to have sprayed the dry chemicals on the curtains of the auditorium as well as having written messages on the walls, Pfleging said.
“It made a powdered mess,” he said, adding that it also appears the suspects took some tools that they may have been using to break into the stadium.
Video surveillance footage revealed two suspects rifling through lockers as well as causing damage, Pfleging said, and led to the arrest of Halen Bretz, 19 years and Luis Najera, 19 years, both of Santa Barbara.
Both men were transported to the police station where they admitted their involvement, Pfleging said.
“The subjects stated they attempted to gain entry into the school by breaking a front window,” Pfleging said. “After failing to gain entry, they broke through a window to the rear of the building. After causing the damage and rifling through lockers, Bretz and Najera stole the power tools and attempted entry into the Peabody facilities.”
Bretz and Luis Najera were transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where they were booked burglary, and vandalism, both felonies.