REDLANDS (CBSLA.com) — Detectives Thursday announced the arrest of a 21-year-old man suspected of committing arson and burglary to school property and a nearby church.
Firefighters responded to a 911 call around 4:00 a.m. Wednesday, for a fire at the Redlands Unified School District transportation yard, located on Central Avenue near Citrus Avenue.READ MORE: Woman Stabbed To Death At Senior Living Community In Baldwin Hills
When crews arrived to the scene, they located a school bus and a utility trailer engulfed in flames.
Authorities explained it took around 15 minutes to control the fire, which subsequently destroyed a bus and trailer, and additionally damaged a second bus and trailer.
According to officials, the damaged buses were not used for daily student transportation, and the trailers were empty when the crime was committed.
Firefighters said a second call regarding a fire in a modular classroom on the Redlands High School campus — located about a half block away from the transportation yard — was reported while crews worked to extinguish the first blaze.
It took officials around 30 minutes to extinguish the second fire, which destroyed one classroom located on the north campus that was used to teach Spanish classes.
No injuries were reported in either fire.
Authorities explained no other classrooms sustained damage from the blaze, however, evidence revealed the alleged arsonist attempted to gain entry into several classrooms before setting the fire.
According to the Redland’s School District, only a handful of students were on campus when the alleged arson was committed because students are on spring break this week.READ MORE: One Of The World's Largest Homes Is About To Go Up For Sale In Bel Air
A preliminary investigation revealed forensic evidence that linked Robert Aaron Trujillo, of Mentone, in connection with the alleged vandalism and burglary of the Church of the Nazarene — located in the 1300 block of East Citrus Avenue — in addition to the transportation yard and classroom fires.
In addition to forensic evidence, police said stolen property from the school was found in the church.
Authorities believe Trujillo walked to Mentone while pushing a wheelchair after he committed the church burglary.
A box that contained four packages of cheese — believed to have been stolen by Trujillo from an unknown location — was also recovered during their investigation, officers added.
According to the Redland’s Police Department, Trujillo was arrested around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday — at a residence in the 3000 block of Mill Creek Road where he was staying — and was found in possession of stolen property from the church.
“This type of attack on our schools and a local church is reprehensible,” said Lt. Travis Martinez. “The Redlands Police Department will always work tirelessly until people like this are brought to justice.”
Trujillo graduated in 2011 from a school in the Redlands School District, however, he never attended Redlands High School, authorities explained.
At this time, authorities have not released a motive for the alleged arson.
School district officials said classes are set to resume on Monday.MORE NEWS: Drone Drops Drugs Into Orange County Jail Courtyard
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Redlands Police Department at (909) 798-7681 or (909) 798-7688.