Deputies investigating a string of school burglaries in Santa Cruz County arrested a Watsonville man Thursday on suspicion of possessing stolen property, sheriff’s officials said. Schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District have reported 16 burglaries since April. The schools were burglarized between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. and the suspects targeted Apple computer equipment, according to the sheriff’s office. Detectives identified 27-year-old Ricky Faustino Santos as a suspect and searched his home on Paulson Road Thursday afternoon.
Sheriff’s officials said Santos was uncooperative and refused to open his bedroom door. The door was forced open and a search allegedly yielded an Apple computer with PVUSD engraved on it, sheriff’s officials said. The computer was allegedly linked to Alianza Charter School at 75 Whiting Road in Watsonville, which had been burglarized that morning, according to the sheriff’s office. Detectives said they also found temperature controller used in the computer industry, valued at around $5,000, that was reported stolen from Heat Wave Labs in Watsonville in April.
The Watsonville Police Department has been brought in to assist with the continuing investigation. Deputies said they have found no link between the PVUSD burglaries and the attempted burglary of Soquel High School in the Santa Cruz City School District on Wednesday. Santos is facing charges of possession of stolen property and probation violation.
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