1 Man, 3 juveniles accused in burglary and arson at elementary school

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Fernando Ortiz was arrested for his alleged involvement in an elementary school burglary. By Alicia Barron Fernando Ortiz was arrested for his alleged involvement in an elementary school burglary. By Alicia Barron

FLORENCE – Four suspects were arrested for allegedly burglarizing an elementary school in Florence.

Investigators from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office were looking into a burglary and criminal damage at Ave B Elementary School.

PCSO says the damage to the school is estimated at over $20,000. Four classrooms and the school office were reportedly severely damaged. Two restrooms also had evidence of fire damage, according to PCSO.

Detectives were able to identify four suspects: 18-year-old Fernando Ortiz and three juveniles ages 14, 15 and 17. All four were interviewed and later arrested in connection to the school burglary.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu says, “Active patrol work by Deputy Peoble and follow-up by Detective Hughey paid off. I’m very proud of the great work of Deputy Peoble and all our detectives who investigated these serious crimes.

These deputies and detectives truly make a positive difference every day to protect our community and keep our families safe.”

Earlier in the week Deputy Peoble saw four individuals leaving the school property and he followed the vehicle and copied down the license plate number just in case the school reported any damage or a burglary.

Ortiz was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Facility in Florence. He faces charges including burglary, theft, criminal damage and arson.

The three juveniles were booked into the Pinal County Juvenile Detention Facility in Florence and face burglary and criminal damage charges.