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Firestarter gets a year Neal Putnam | Sat, May 03 2014 12:00 PM

An arsonist who torched an office near the cafeteria at Chula Vista High School on Thanksgiving was sentenced April 3 to one year in jail.

Azteco Frankie Soto, 26, was ordered to pay $2,182 in damages by Chula Vista Superior Court Judge Garry Haehnle under terms of three years probation. He received 181 days of jail credits.

Soto was also sentenced concurrently to 88 days for commercial burglary of Palm City Liquor store at 688 Hollister St. which occurred on Dec. 1, 2013. Soto pleaded guilty to arson and two burglaries in the unrelated cases in March.

Deputy District Attorney Laura Vogltanz said the judge allowed Soto to be released to a substance abuse recovery center after he has served 91 days in jail and when a bed is available.

His projected release date is June 2 if a bed is not available beforehand, according to the sheriff’s department.

Soto was charged Jan. 3 after being interviewed by Chula Vista Police.

The surveillance video footage captured Soto breaking into a school window with his skateboard. Soto was seen emptying food and seasoning containers onto the floor, police said.

The power was turned off by Soto and that resulted in much of the food spoiling during the Thanksgiving weekend.

The motive has not been determined.

A witness saw smoke coming from the cafeteria and the Chula Vista Fire Department put out the fire.

Police said Soto confessed to the break-in, arson, and vandalism to police.

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sosocal Says:

Fri, May 09 2014 11:55 AM

Oddfool--thanks for the update! I know, it is too much to expect that sort of info from the district!! They are far too busy purchasing and developing property to be concerned with the safety of the students and teachers.

It is all about priorities--and for Ed Brand and his remaining minion, John McCann, priorities are more than likely to be found somewhere off in the distance, where this oh-so-dynamic duo can divvy up goodies for themselves!

Oh, that isn't the case? Well, why is it that the Sweetwater books have been mysteriously off-limits for decades then? Just what are they trying to hide? Oh, yes, those real estate deals. And probably a few more things.

Oddfool Says:

Fri, May 09 2014 07:47 AM

The upgrade of the alarm system at Southwest High School recently started.

One of the band parents reported that there was an issue with the current alarm recently. It was then discovered that the band room did not have any visual notification devices, and the audible alarm could not be heard while students were performing.

A visual device was promptly installed while the upgrade continues.

sosocal Says:

Sun, May 04 2014 08:18 PM

What I think needs pointing out in his case is that Mr. Soto's escapade also demonstrated that fire alarms in Sweetwater schools were not working.

Amazingly, there had been reports of non-functional alarms in Sweetwater schools, but the district had downplayed them.

I would love to know if all the fire alarms are now working! And once again, thanks to the public-minded individual who reported seeing smoke coming from the school, the fire department was called.

As the old saying goes, 'it could have been worse'.

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