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Third Arrest Made in School Burglaries

Deputies have been investigating a rash of school burglaries that resulted in which suspects made off with more than $172,000 worth of items.

Pasco County Sheriff's deputies have made a third arrest in connection to a rash of recent school burglaries.

A 17-year-old from Port Richey was arrested Monday and charged with dealing in stolen property and burglary.

There have been 13 burglaries at Pasco County Schools in the Port Richey and New Port Richey area between October 15 of last year and March 17.  The schools hit were Chasco Middle School, Chasco Elementary School, Calusa Elementary School and Ridgewood High School.

Deputies are still investigating the burglaries and expect more arrests. They believe they are looking at a burglary ring.

The burglars mostly took electronics such as MacBooks, iPods, Netbooks, iPhone chargers, digital cameras and projectors.

The losses total more than $172,000. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco and Pasco Superintendent of Schools Kurt Browning said at a recent press conference that the items stolen included school equipment funded by taxpayer money.

In addition to the 17-year-old, deputies have arrested two others in connection to the burglaries.

Alexis Rafael Ortiz, 19, was arrested in connection to a Feb. 27 burglary at Ridgewood High. So was a third suspect.

In that burglary, 37 iPods, 34 MacBooks and one iPad were stolen. The value of the loot stolen Feb. 27 totals $70,650.

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