Third suspect in Glendale school break-ins turns himself in after accomplices are arrested

Four days after video footage of three teens breaking into a Glendale school with pry bars and hammers was plastered on the news, the vandals struck again.

In the early morning hours on Tuesday, the trio was caught on camera breaking into Clark Magnet and Crescenta Valley high schools before rummaging through classroom drawers and teachers' desks, said Glendale Police Sgt. Robert William.

They'd already caused more than $20,000 damage at Toll Middle School and Mark Keppel Elementary School two weekends earlier, smashing windows and security cameras, and forcing their way into 20 classrooms and offices hunting for property.

They stole cash from at least one office but didn't get away with anything too valuable, police said.

Three vandals broke into Toll Middle School in Glendale in the early morning of Saturday, March 12, with their faces shielded by bandanas and clothing, and caused an estimated $20,000 in damage to the campus using pry bars and hammers, police said. (Courtesy of the Glendale Police Department)

After the second round of burglaries, Glendale police received a tip from someone who'd seen the surveillance footage, leading them to identify one of the three suspects. Investigators subsequently used his social media ties to identify the two other teenagers reportedly involved in the break-ins. All three live in Pasadena.

They even found a social media photograph of one suspect — identified as 19-year-old Christian Padilla —wearing the same cowboy hat he wore during the alleged burglaries.

On Thursday morning, detectives served warrants to search the homes of all three suspects and arrested two of them, Padilla, along with a 17-year-old who wasn't identified because he's a minor. The third suspect, also 17 years old, turned himself in to Glendale police Friday morning, with cigarettes in his pocket. In addition to the burglaries, he was also booked on suspicion of possessing cigarettes as a minor.

During the searches, detectives recovered clothes worn during the burglaries.

Crime Stoppers offered a $1,000 reward to anyone with information leading to an arrest in the case, though it was not immediately clear if it would be claimed.


Alene Tchekmedyian,

Twitter: @atchek