The Star-News

Man goes to court in vandalism case

Sat, Mar 01 2014 12:00 PM Posted By: Neal Putnam

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 5 for a suspect accused of vandalizing and setting fire to an office near the cafeteria at Chula Vista High School on Thanksgiving 2013.

Azteco Frankie Soto, 26, pleaded not guilty in Chula Vista Superior Court to burglary, arson, and vandalism. He was charged Jan. 3 after being interviewed by Chula Vista police.

The surveillance video footage  captured the vandal breaking into a school window with his skateboard and he remained in the cafeteria and offices for 40 minutes. The suspect was seen emptying a number of food and seasoning containers onto the floor, police said.

The power was turned off by the suspect, resulting 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 responded.

The police crime lab identified fingerprints at the scene which matched the defendant. Police said Soto confessed to the break-in, arson, and vandalism to police. Soto was already in jail for an unrelated burglary after being arrested Dec. 2, 2013.

Soto remains in the South Bay Detention Facility on $50,000 bail.

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