School burglar had Westlake Village ties

An Oxnard man who once owned a Westlake Village computer repair company faces a maximum of 15 years in prison for burglarizing schools across Ventura County and also stealing some $20,000 in computer equipment from a Camarillo elementary school.

Police arrested Cory Fletcher, then 44, and Karrina Cortez, then 19, in April 2016. Authorities had linked the two to a string of burglaries that occurred in February and March 2016 at schools and residences in Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Camarillo, Westlake Village and Ventura.

Two weeks ago a Ventura County Superior Court jury found Fletcher, now 47, guilty of 12 counts of felony burglary, encompassing five residential burglaries and seven school burglaries.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 2.

Cortez was charged in 2016, pleaded guilty to two counts of residential burglary and has served her prison sentence, David Barnes, deputy district attorney, said Monday.

Authorities believe a 17-yearold was involved in some of the burglaries. “But his involvement was not discovered until near the end of the three-year statute of limitations” and he was never arrested or charged in the case, Barnes said.

“He was, however, subpoenaed to testify and did testify in court,” the prosecutor said, adding that the juvenile’s testimony was a factor in the jury finding Fletcher guilty.

Stretching across city boundaries, a series of school break-ins in early 2016 had investigators from sheriff’s stations in Moorpark, Camarillo and Thousand Oaks comparing notes—until police got a break in the case around 3 a.m. March 31, 2016.

That’s when patrol officers spotted Cortez leaving the campus of Mesa Verde Middle School in Moorpark and arrested her, police said in 2016.

Information from the arrest led investigators to seek search warrants for Cortez’s Oxnard home in the 300 block of Riverpark Boulevard, where they found an undisclosed amount of stolen property, a 2016 press release from the sheriff’s office said.

From there police obtained a warrant to search a storage unit that the suspects rented at the EZ Storage facility in the 9400 block of De Soto Avenue in Chatsworth.

Officials discovered hundreds of iPads, desktop and laptop computers, projectors, office supplies— a virtual smorgasbord of stolen school property—inside the storage unit, Detective Ken Truitt of the Moorpark Police Department told The Acorn in 2016.

Stolen property was identified from at least five school burglaries, including a break-in in February 2016 at Montalvo Elementary School in Ventura and the March 1, 2016 burglary at Dos Caminos Elementary School in Camarillo, in which an estimated $20,000 in computers and other property was stolen, Truitt said.

In the Dos Caminos break-in, Fletcher used keys he had taken from the home of a Dos Caminos Elementary School teacher to gain entry to the campus, Barnes said.

Fletcher, who formerly owned Dynamic Technologies, a Westlake Village-based computer repair company, also burglarized the home of an 89-year-old Camarillo resident three times and stole over $10,000 in art and jewelry, the prosecutor said.

Police also linked Fletcher to a March 19, 2016, break-in at CAPE Charter School in Camarillo, where a window in an office was broken out and an estimated $75,000 in computers and other items was stolen. Medicine was taken from the health office.

He’s also responsible, according to police, for a burglary one night later, on March 20, 2016, when Monte Vista Middle School in the 800 block of Lantana Street, less than a block from CAPE, was broken into. No property was taken in that incident, police said.

On March 22, 2016, Fletcher broke into and burglarized Westlake Montessori School in Thousand Oaks, making off with computers and other property; a day later, on March 23, 2016, Pinecrest School in T.O was hit.