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Man confesses to burglarizing second school during arrest, police say

Juan Luis Galdames, 35, arrested Wednesday night at parents' home

MIAMI – A man is facing multiple charges after he confessed to burglarizing another school while he was being arrested Wednesday for Monday's burglary at La Progresiva Presbyterian School in Little Havana, police said.

According to an arrest report, Juan Luis Galdames, 35, spontaneously told officers that he also burglarized Lincoln Marti Schools, 450 SW 16 Ave., on Feb. 8.

In that case, an employee at the school called police after he opened the front door and found papers scattered throughout the front office.

Detectives said they searched the building, found a ceiling tile on the floor and saw that a surveillance camera had been ripped off.

But police said the camera still captured the suspect, who had his face covered, rummaging through a drawer.

Police said several tablets were stolen from the school.

The second burglary was reported Monday at La Progresiva, 2480 SW Seventh St., after school officials discovered that the roof inside the school was damaged, and the first-floor office had been broken into.

According to the arrest report, Galdames is seen on surveillance video using a fire hose to break a window on the roof to get inside the school.

Police said he stole a safe that contained $5,000 from students for field trips and other activities.

"We learned from our principal. She made a big announcement," teacher Daniel Pacheco said. "Kids went crazy, screaming, jumping, some were crying."

According to the report, Galdames cut himself during the burglary and left blood at the scene.

The following day, an anonymous caller told Crime Stoppers that Galdames was the person seen in the surveillance video, and that he lives with his parents.

Detectives spoke to Galdames' father, who told them that his son came home Monday bleeding from his hand. Police said he also identified his son as the person seen on the surveillance video.

According to the report, Galdames told detectives that his friend, Daniel, told him to burglarize the school and steal the safe. He said he gave Daniel the safe, but left empty-handed on his bicycle after Daniel refused to pay him until he opened the safe.

Police said Galdames told them that he doesn't know Daniel's full name or where he lives.

Galdames was arrested and taken to the Turner Guildford Knight Correctional Center. He faces charges of grand theft, burglary, criminal mischief and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Local 10 News learned that Galdames also served time in jail last year for a possession of cocaine charge.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the students at La Progresiva fund their upcoming field trips and activities. School officials said thousands of dollars have already been donated by people in the community so the students will still go on their bible camp field trip on Friday.


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