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DA charges San Jose man in preschool burglaries, tortoise attack

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has charged a San Jose man for repeatedly breaking into a preschool and for an attack on a pet tortoise at the school.

Prosecutors charged George Robles, 40, with felony animal abuse, commercial burglary and vandalism. He is being held without bail with an arraignment scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in San Jose.

Police first arrested Robles on Jan. 30 after a concerned citizen called police about 11:30 a.m. to report hearing glass breaking at the Play ‘N’ Learn preschool in the 500 block of Massar Avenue. The owner of the preschool discovered the tortoise impaled with a stick and when police arrived, they found Robles nearby.

The arrest followed a Jan. 27 break-in police say was captured on security cameras and also involved Robles.

Authorities say security footage showed that Robles broke into the school through an unlocked door around 5 a.m., stealing about $1,800 worth of computers and other electronics.

Robles was released from custody on bail, however, according to the district attorney’s office.

An arresting officer filed a request for the magistrate to review bail, because the suspect in the alleged crime was eligible under emergency Covid-19 rules for immediate release. The request was denied, and the defendant was released.

Police allege that the suspect broke into the school again the next day, Jan. 31, this time spending the night in the school and stealing about $1,000 more of electronics and groceries.

The crime was again captured on security cameras.

When the owner arrived that morning, the suspect allegedly fled. Police arrested him at 4 p.m. near the school.

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