For release on February 9, 2021
Deputy District Attorney
General Felonies Unit
Man Who Broke into Preschool and Attacked Michelangelo the Tortoise,
Charged, Held without Bail
A 40-year-old man who repeatedly broke into a San Jose preschool and attacked Michelangelo, the children’s pet tortoise, has been charged and jailed without bail.
George Robles, of San Jose, stabbed the class pet, who lived in the Play ‘n Learn preschool’s small garden. Michelangelo suffered serious injuries but is being treated by a local veterinarian and is expected to survive.
Robles is charged with felony animal abuse, commercial burglary, and vandalism. He could be incarcerated if convicted. His arraignment is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. Wednesday in Department 24 of the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
“Our thoughts are with the children and teachers at Play ‘n’ Learn,” DA Jeff Rosen said. “We will work diligently to protect that preschool and get accountability for the innocent victims of a heartless and heartbreaking crime. “
The crimes began on January 27, when security footage showed that the defendant broke into the school through an unlocked door around 5:00 a.m., stealing about $1,800 worth of computers, iPad Minis and other electronics.
On January 30, around 11:30 a.m. a concerned citizen called police after hearing glass breaking at the school. The owner found the beloved pet impaled with a stick. Police found the defendant nearby. An arresting officer filed a request for the magistrate to review bail, because the alleged crime was eligible under emergency COVID rules for immediate release. The request was denied, and the defendant was released.
The next day at 6:52 p.m. the defendant broke into the school again, this time spending the night and stealing about $1,000 more of Apple iPads, and groceries - a crime again captured on security cameras. When the owner arrived in the morning, the defendant fled. Police arrested him at 4:00 p.m. near the school.
This time, after a hearing, the defendant was remanded without bail.