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Three teens arrested for setting fire to high school computer lab 


19-year-old Jacob Ruth, 18-year-old Cameron Bratcher, and 18-year-old Michael Benadiba.


Contents of computer lab were a total loss

On Dec. 8, at 12:24 a.m., the San Luis Obispo Police Department Communications Center received a fire alarm activation on San Luis Obispo High School campus. The alarm was activated in Building 800 which houses the school’s computer lab. Responding San Luis Obispo Fire personnel arrived and found the computer lab was fully involved in fire. The fire department was able to stop movement of the fire into additional buildings and saved the Computer Lab building. The contents of the computer lab were a total loss and high school officials are working to determine the value of the damage.

While Fire Department personnel were working to suppress the fire, the San Luis Obispo Communications Center received an additional call from an observant resident on Alta Drive. The alert citizen wanted to report a suspicious vehicle with three occupants. According to the caller, the three men parked their car and jumped over a fence which led towards the fire scene. Police officers were sent to investigate the three men. Responding officers located Jacob Ruth, Michael Benadiba and Cameron Bratcher who were detained pending further investigation.
As a result of the detention and subsequent investigation, Ruth, Benadiba and Bratcher were arrested for the following crimes;

451(D) PC – Felony Arson
459 PC – Felony Burglary
594(B)(1) PC – Felony Vandalism

All three suspects were booked at the San Luis Obispo County Jail and each had bail set at $25,000.

This investigation is being actively investigated and investigators are trying to determine if these suspects can be linked to any other crimes involving arson or burglary. No other information is currently available as it relates to additional crimes.



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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at