Following an extensive investigation spanning several months, Santa Barbara Sheriff’s detectives arrested 26-year-old Andre Clayton of Hemet, California, who is wanted in connection to burglaries at Vieja Valley Elementary School and Laguna Blanca School, said Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover.
Clayton and other members of a documented Riverside County gang are suspected of committing a string of school robberies across Southern California beginning in November 2012. The spree targeted two Santa Barbara schools — Vieja Valley and Laguna Blanca — in late January 2013.
On the morning of January 24, suspects broke into a Vieja Valley computer lab and stole $10,000 worth of computer equipment. Then on January 26 and 29, suspects broke into computer labs at Laguna Blanca School and took around $15,000 in computer equipment, said Hoover.
Evidence obtained at the crime scenes and during the execution of search warrants on Clayton’s vehicle and residence in February and March link him to the Santa Barbara burglaries, Hoover explained.
Clayton is awaiting transport to Santa Barbara County Jail. He is being held on $1 million bail at the Riverside County Jail for various charges including burglary, active gang membership, and possession of a concealed weapon, said Hoover.