April 15, 2014

SCPD Officers Honored For Their DUI Enforcement

Officer Ryan Kiar 
 Officer Brad Burruel

Santa Cruz Police Officers Ryan Kiar and Brad Burruel were recognized today at an award ceremony in Monterey for their DUI enforcement efforts. 

The recognition ceremony was a collaborative effort by the State of California Office of Traffic Safety and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).  The ceremony honored police officers from around the Central Coast for taking impaired drivers off of our streets and saving innocent lives that may have otherwise been lost when these impaired drivers become involved in deadly traffic collisions. 

Just to give a little perspective, we are not even 1/3 of the way into the year and the Santa Cruz Police Department has already arrested 51 drunk drivers since January.  Each one is potentially a serious collision waiting to happen.  Unfortunately, those numbers usually increase during the spring and summer months. 

You can help us by reporting drunk drivers, taking the keys, and designating a driver.     

Officers Kiar and Burruel were among honorees from Central Coast law enforcement agencies.  They were joined at the ceremony by Deputy Chief Rick Martinez and Lieutenant Dan Flippo.  Here they all are in the picture I cropped above :-) 

Please join the entire staff of the Santa Cruz Police Department in congratulating Officers Ryan Kiar and Brad Burruel! 

April 11, 2014

Phone Scams Once Again Making Their Way into Santa Cruz.

The latest case involved a remake on the ol’, “Your grandchild is in jail and needs bail money” scheme.   The caller impersonated a San Jose Police Officer, and ever-so courteously instructed the victim on how to use a prepaid cash/credit card from GreenDot.com. 

We have also recently heard of individuals calling and impersonating an IRS Agent asking for back-owed taxes, etc. 

The common thread in all of these scams is a request for payment through a prepaid cash/credit card or a Western Union money transfer. 

Here are some good general rules go to by EVERY TIME:
  • If the caller demands payment by phone….High likelihood it is a SCAM
  • If the caller wants payment using a prepaid cash/credit card…..Hang Up – It is a SCAM
  • If the caller wants payment via a Western Union Moneygram or other money wire service…Hang Up – It is a SCAM
These callers are unscrupulous.  Among their favorite target are the elderly.  They will call repeatedly and oftentimes berate the victim.  Simply inform them that you have made note of their number, and are recording the call to turn over to the police.  You have our permission to record such calls for evidentiary purposes.  Then, follow up with a call to the police department to report this.    

If someone tries to use the bail money scheme, remember, you can call the custody facility and verify the information through their booking unit.  Don’t use the phone number the scammer gives you.  Look up the actual number on their Webpage, compare it to the one given, and the call the number listed on their Webpage. 

Be safe and let’s not make it easy for the crooks! 

April 7, 2014

Hula's Island Grill Donating Mahalo Mondays in April to Butch & Elizabeth

Time to get your Tiki on!!!  Mahalo Monday at Hula’s Island Grill is benefiting Sergeant Butch Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler this month. 

Each month, the amazing ownership at Hula’s Island Grill benefits a different cause.  For April, Hula’s chose the Santa Cruz Police Department and Sergeant Butch Baker & Detective Elizabeth Butler. 

Here’s how it works….eat dinner at Hula’s any Monday night this month and a portion of the proceeds will be donated.  Not only is Hula’s an awesome place to eat, but each Monday you will benefit a local cause.  That’s a legitimate Win-Win.    
We will plan to put the money towards the final bills for the memorial garden, and distribute the rest directly to Butch’s widow Kelly Baker, and Elizabeth’s surviving partner and father of their children, Peter Wu. 

Come on out and enjoy some great food and support a great local business.  Hula's Island Grill is located at 221 Cathcart Street in Downtown Santa Cruz.  

Thank You Hula’s. 

April 2, 2014

Four Sacramento Area Robbery Suspects Arrested

On March 29, 2014, four (4) Sacramento area thugs were arrested following a street robbery where the suspects attacked the victim and took gold chain jewelry from him.  

The robbery occurred at approximately 3:10 PM on Saturday March 29th.  Details were withheld until today due to investigative follow up that needed to be completed.  

The arrested thugs are:
  1. Yahir Alejandro Chavez, 22 years – Sacramento resident
  2. Shane Fitzgerald Montue, 21 years – Sacramento resident
  3. Lenel James David Randolph, 23 years – Sacramento resident
  4. Alphonse Gomez Ramirez, 22 years – Sacramento resident
Yahir Chavez
Shane Montue
Lenel Randolph
Alphonse Ramirez
The suspects first approached the victim when he was in a parking lot in downtown Santa Cruz.  Initially, the suspects asked for directions.  As this story unfolds, they eventually got directions of "Go to Jail, Do Not Pass Go".  
The victim then left the area and drove to West Cliff Drive near Sunset Ave, where he parked his car.

The victim was approached by at least two of the suspects who began to attack the victim unprovoked.  The suspects punched the victim several times and pulled gold jewelry chains from around his neck.  The victim fought back and chased these cowards back to an awaiting getaway car.

The suspects fled in their getaway car with Mr. Chazez acting as the "wheelman"  The car was a black 2007 Chevy HHR.

A description of the car was broadcast to all area law enforcement agencies.  The suspect’s vehicle was spotted by "Johnny on the Spot" California Highway Patrol Officers traveling southbound on Highway 1.  The suspects attempted to flee from the officers for a short distance, and eventually pulled over at the Highway One Vista Point Rest Area.  Nice work by the CHiPies. 

The suspects were turned over to Santa Cruz officers to finish the investigation.

All four suspects were booked into Santa Cruz County Jail for charges of (1) Robbery, and (2) Conspiracy to Commit robbery.

Suspects Randolph and Montue are both on active parole.  They were also charged with Parole violations.  Suspect Ramirez initially used his brother’s identity.  He changed his mind when we pointed our what this would do to family relations!  He was also charged with false personation.  

March 31, 2014

Help us Identify This Battery Suspect

OK Santa Cruz…You are on a roll.  You have been pretty successful in helping us identify troublemakers this year.  Let’s see if we can keep the streak alive. 

This guy was quite intoxicated and asked the hotel staff to call him a cab. 

When the cab didn’t come fast enough for him, he hauled off and punched an employee at the Paradox Hotel early Monday morning….we're talking 2:30 AM kind of early.  He then piled into the cab that said employee was kind enough to call for him. 

When the Cabbie was alerted by police he pulled to the side of the road with our suspect in the back.  The suspect jumped out of the cab and fled.  Our suspect said his name was “Zack” and lived around 26th or 27th Ave. 

We are pretty sure someone will recognize him and send us the tip.  You can submit an anonymous tip via our smartphone app or Website. 

“Zack”….if you are reading this, you might want to consider coming in and talking with us before the inevitable warrant gets issued. 

Thanks Santa Cruz!