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School Burglar Pleads Guilty To Break-Ins, Takes 1-Year Sentence

A suspect charged in connection with several spring break burglaries at schools in the Santa Clarita Valley pleaded guilty Wednesday at Los Angeles Superior Court in San Fernando.


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Gonzalo Ortiz, 20, of Newhall, will receive a one-year sentence, and three years probation, as the terms of a plea deal, according to Sera Boyadjian, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County.

“He pleaded to Count 1, which is a second degree commercial burglary charge, and received 365 days in county jail, and three years probation, with gang conditions imposed,” Boyadjian said.

“There are also search conditions, but that’s standard,” she said.

The gang conditions mean Ortiz is not allowed to hang around with gang members or participate in any gang activity -- a condition reserved for gang members, she said.

Because there is an Immigrations and Custom Enforcement hold in his online record with the Sheriff’s Department, it’s possible that Ortiz could be deported after serving his sentence, according to an official with the District Attorney’s Office.

The official couldn’t say for certain because the decision is up to the Sheriff’s Department, as a result of AB 109. The law, known as re-alignment, gives leeway to the county’s jailers in respect to sentencing.

Ortiz was arrested early Friday morning last week, as well as a teenager, said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Ortiz, a suspected gang member, was arrested along with a 17 year-old male, in connection with several school burglaries.

More arrests are expected in the case, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials, who are still investigating the break-ins at Old Orchard and Newhall elementaries, as well as Sierra Vista Junior High and Hart High.

On April 10, detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station's Career Offenders, Burglary and Robbery Apprehension, or COBRA, team asked for the public’s assistance in identifying two people of interest thought to be responsible for four separate incidents of school burglary that occurred over the spring break between March 29 and April 5.

Detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station followed several leads and investigative trails in the case, which led to Ortiz’ arrest, according to a Sheriff’s Department statement.

Detectives were able to use the information obtained from the public to develop suspect information.

“Fortunately, high resolution cameras on many of our school campuses are also assisting in making it extremely difficult for these late night criminals to get away without detection,” the statement read.

Sheriff’s Station officials also said after the arrests, search warrants were executed, which led to the recovery of some of the stolen property.

Here's a recent story about the local effects of AB 109


Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or drop us a line at community@hometownstation.com.




School Burglar Pleads Guilty To Break-Ins, Takes 1-Year Sentence


Article: School Burglar Pleads Guilty To Break-Ins, Takes 1-Year Sentence
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Perry Smith