May 18, 2016

SCPD Press Release: Two Arrested in Separate Child Pornography Investigations

On May 17, 2016, the Santa Cruz Police Department conducted two separate search warrants and arrests stemming from proactive months-long child pornography investigations. In two independent investigations Robert Krietzman, 51 years old, from Watsonville and John Brookhouse, 66 years old from Scotts Valley were arrested for possession of child pornography, 311.11(a) penal code.
Robert Krietzman, 51 years old, from Watsonville 
Case 16S-03195/3199
On 5/17/16, at about 10:15 am, members of the Santa Cruz Police Department, Silicon Valley ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Task Force and the Santa Cruz County Sheriffs served a search warrant and arrested Robert Krietzman at his home on Hawthorne Avenue in Watsonville. A search of the residence yielded a significant amount of child pornography stored on computers. The investigation turned up child pornography at both his home and in Krietzman's car. Detectives seized a number of images depicting prepubescent children in sexual acts. Krietzman was identified as a source of the child pornography files shared on peer to peer network.

Robert Krietzman is a first grade school teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in the Alisal School District. School authorities were immediately notified of Mr. Krietzman’s actions and arrest. At this point in the investigation, none of the child pornography images appear to be related to the school. SCPD Detectives are reviewing personal and school work computers that Mr. Krietzman had access to.

Alisal School District officials are being fully cooperative with our investigation. School representatives took immediate action to remove Mr. Krietzman from the classroom. SCPD encourages parents who suspect anything inappropriate to notify the Salinas Police Department and/or Alisal School District officials.

Case 16S-03193
On 5/17/16, at about 4:30 pm, members of the Santa Cruz Police Department, Silicon Valley ICAC Task Force and the Scotts Valley Police Department served a search warrant and arrested John Brookhouse at his mobile home in the 6000 block of Scotts Valley Drive for possession of child pornography.
John Brookhouse, 66 years old from Scotts Valley
John Brookhouse was identified as a source of the child pornography files shared on peer to peer network. Detectives seized a number of computers and external drives that were used to download and/or provide child pornography on the network. John Brookhouse confessed to both downloading child pornography as well as making files available for sharing on the network. John Brookhouse was convicted in 1991 for possession of child pornography in the state of Florida.

Both investigations began in late December of 2015, SCPD investigators working in conjunction with the Silicon Valley ICAC accessed a network suspected of sharing child pornography. Over the following months, detectives used an undercover identity and were able to access shared files containing child pornography on various child pornography focused networks.

Both Robert Krietzman and John Brookhouse were booked into Santa Cruz County Jail for Possession of Child Pornography.

The Santa Cruz Police Department would like to remind parents it is imperative that they monitor their children’s social interactions, their use of computers, cell phones, and similar electronic devices as well as their children’s use of social media and other internet sites. We encourage parents to also talk with their children about the dangers involved with the use of these electronic devices and internet sites and immediately report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.

The Santa Cruz Police Department is an affiliate agency of the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce (ICAC). As such, we work with the ICAC task force both proactively and re-actively to investigate criminals who are engaged in the sexual exploitation of children. The discovery of these suspects was the result of a proactive operation conducted by the Santa Cruz Police Department.

May 17, 2016

National Police Week - Thanks to Those Who Keep Us Safe

Appreciation for the hard work that our law enforcement officers do to keep Santa Cruz residents safe and protected is proclaimed locally and across the country this National Police Week, May 15-21.
At last week’s council meeting, Mayor Cynthia Mathews, speaking on behalf of the Santa Cruz City Council presented Chief Vogel with a Mayor's Proclamation recognizing the Santa Cruz Police Department in honor of Police Appreciation Week.



Mayor Mathews commended SCPD for being an outstanding police department. “We can depend on these brave men and women no matter what, and for that alone we owe them our thanks”.

Being a police officer in Santa Cruz is not without challenges. Officers handle over 100,000 calls for service each year— roughly 275 calls per day or 11 calls every hour. They often see situations at their very worst and manage to make order out of chaos. Yet, each day is an opportunity for SCPD officers to make a difference.

During this Police Appreciation Week we honor and remember those who gave all. We also salute our current team of officers for their tireless efforts on behalf of Santa Cruz. Many of our officers have made a significant difference in someone’s life. Many will never get recognized for their kindness.

If you have a sense of appreciation for members of the Santa Cruz Police Department, let us know.
The City appreciates your support, and thanks you for working together to make Santa Cruz even safer.

Exemplary service or praise about police officers or the department can be sent to Thankacop@cityofsantacruz.com


video
Video also available on our YouTube Channel
https://youtu.be/32brIekZ-NA
About National Police Week
By a joint resolution on October 1, 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that declared May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week, the annual tribute to law enforcement service and sacrifice.

May 15, 2016

SCPD in the Community Supporting Kids Day with Sheriff's Posse

It was our pleasure to spend the day meeting and interacting with everyone involved in the Special Kids Day last Friday.
100 youngsters enrolled in Special Education enjoyed a day of fun activities at the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Posse facilities. The location was transformed into a playground just for these kids to explore and have fun.
Students with special needs and their families were welcome to hop aboard and check out one of our squad cars. CSO Pedulla represented SCPD and said "These kids are incredible!"
The 32nd annual Fun Day was hosted by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Posse.  They are a non-profit volunteer search and rescue group.
SCPD is always happy to support organizations that inspire and encourage children of all ages.
We have an awesome community.
Thanks to our new friends that posed for pictures with CSO Pedulla. This was one of her favorite days on the job.

May 12, 2016

SCPD Recovers Record # of Stolen Cars - WARNS Auto Theft is on the Rise

Auto Theft is on the Rise - Good news: SCPD has a proven track record for recovering stolen cars.

Through the first four months of the year, our city has seen a 24% increase in car thefts. Since March 1st in the span of two and half months, there have been 72 auto thefts reported.
 

While it’s not good news to report the upward trend of stolen cars, there is good news in SCPD’s recovery rate of stolen vehicles. In the last 11 weeks, SCPD has recovered 57 cars reported stolen in the City of Santa Cruz. SCPD also found and recovered 12 additional cars that were reported stolen from outside the area. 
Esteban Hernandez, 19 years old from Stockton

On Wednesday 5/11/16 at approximately 1:00 am, a SCPD Officer conducting extra checks in the 300 block of Ocean Street saw a suspicious vehicle. The SCPD Officer checked the license plate on the vehicle and discovered it was stolen. Esteban Hernandez, 19 years old from Stockton was arrested for auto theft. Mr. Hernandez had a booking sheet in his possession from San Jose PD for an arrest dated just days prior for vehicle theft.
Stolen Car Recovered from Esteban Hernandez
In a recent case, an SUV was reported stolen on Thursday May 5, 2016 from residence on the 700 block of Riverside Avenue.  The next day on Friday May 5th, the victim spotted the 1991 Nissan Pathfinder being driven on Soquel Avenue with a different license plates.  The SUV owner recognized the new roof rack installed on his Pathfinder.  The victim followed the vehicle to the Safeway on Morrissey and called 911 to get help from SCPD.
Jay June, 30 years old, transient from Live Oak
SCPD Officers quickly arrived and found Jay June, 30 years old, transient from Live Oak asleep in back of the SUV. The responding officer let Mr. June sleep while observing the vehicle. SCPD Officers contacted Anthony Soza, 19 years old from Santa Cruz after he came out of the grocery store and got back into the Pathfinder. Both Jay June and Anthony Soza were detained and arrested. The pair used a "shaved key" to drive the stolen SUV.

Anthony Soza, 19 years old from Santa Cruz
Officers learned that Mr. Soza had been released from the Santa Cruz County Jail just hours before this arrest. SCPD Officers recognized Mr. June from a history of police contacts that include arrests for theft, drug possession, and drug influence.

A majority of the stolen vehicles are mid-sized coupes and sedans. Sometimes the vehicles were locked at the time of theft. The thief uses a “bumper or shaved” key to access and start the car. It also appears that Honda cars are more likely to be stolen by this method than any other manufacturer. Auto thefts have occurred in both residential and commercial areas.

Through the efforts of our keen-eyed SCPD Patrol Officers these stolen vehicles are frequently recovered. However, the victim’s personal items and various work tools that were inside the stolen car are not always recovered with the vehicle. The car license plates are often stolen as well.
This lovable dog was abandoned inside a stolen car recovered by SCPD on Monday night.
Auto thefts can be prevented and deterred. As a community we can work together in order to prevent such thefts from occurring. Many stolen cars are left unlocked and/or have a not-so-well hidden car key in or on the car. Auto theft is a crime of opportunity. Install an anti-theft device to discourage or slow down thieves and increase the risk of suspect apprehension.

SCPD crime prevention tips to help prevent your vehicle from being stolen.

• Always lock and secure your vehicle, even if you are only going to be away from your vehicle for a couple of minutes.
• Never leave your car running and unattended, or leave the keys in your vehicle.
• Never hide a spare key to your vehicle on or inside the vehicle.
• Park in well-lighted and highly visible areas.
• Consider installing an alarm, an ignition kill switch, a mechanical anti-theft device, or vehicle tracking system.
• If your vehicle is equipped with an alarm or anti-theft device – use it. Thieves are reluctant to steal vehicles if they know the cars can be recovered quickly. Many insurers offer discounts for the types of systems listed below.
• Do not leave valuables in plain view, such as, briefcases, purses, wallets, laptop/camera bags, gym bags, cellular phones, or any electronic items or devices. These types of items make it enticing for thieves.
• Most importantly, always report any suspicious people or vehicles to SCPD. Call 9-1-1. Often times the community reporting and calling the police is what leads to suspects being apprehended.

May 7, 2016

2nd Annual Never Forget Relay 2016

SCPD rallied four teams in the 2nd Annual Never Forget Relay Run held in Aptos Park last Saturday. We were running with 18 other agencies  representing First Responders and public safety professionals  from around the county with relay teams ready to run for a great cause. 
This event raises awareness and funds for the Fallen Officer Foundation, a local organization dedicated to providing support and financial assistance to Santa Cruz County First Responders and their families during times of crisis and special need.
Our community is protected everyday by a courageous and amazing group of men and women serving on the front line in Law Enforcement, Fire, Paramedics and Public Safety. Additionally, we have many who serve as vital support, such as dispatchers, Probation, District Attorney's Office, and the Courts. 
The event organizers send out a heartfelt thank you to  all of the runners, volunteers, and sponsors for their participation and support.


The Fallen Officer Foundation is accepting donations to make this fund raising event possible next year. Contributions are tax deductible (Fallen Officer Foundation Tax No. 13-4282250) and all donations will go directly to the funding of this Never Forget Memorial Relay. More info available at http://neverforgetrelay.org/

May 2, 2016

SCPD Officers follow counterfeit trail & arrest two subjects using phony money.

Early Sunday afternoon, an SCPD Officer responded to a local restaurant for a report of two women who passed off a counterfeit $20.00 bill. They were in the process of another cash transaction when the employee suspected that the money was fake. The two women ran away to a waiting car and drove away.

A few hours later, another SCPD Officer responded to the same type of call at another business in the City of Santa Cruz. Perfect timing because our SCPD Officers had  just finished a meeting detailing the first counterfeit call from earlier in the day. The women were caught in the act and detained at the local business . Ajani Laws, 18 years old from Pittsburg , CA and a female juvenile, 17 years old from Oakly, Ca were arrested for counterfeiting, exchanging counterfeit money and conspiracy to commit a crime.

          Ajani Laws, 18 years old from Pittsburg , CA



                                        Female juvenile, 17 years old from Oakley, CA 


Although these two were caught and arrested, they were in the company of a carload of visitors from the Bay Area visiting Santa Cruz.

The female juvenile was found to be in possession of
counterfeit $20.00 dollar bills amounting to hundreds of dollars. Here is how the scam worked – the suspect would buy a small item, give a $20.00 bill as payment and collect real money in change.
At first glance, these bills do look real. SCPD encourages the public and the business community to carefully examine the money you receive, especially larger denomination bills. Most counterfeit bills when examined closely are identifiable as counterfeit just by the poor quality of printing and misshaped or missing treasury seals. An easy way to check is the use of a Counterfeit Detector Pen.


SCPD believes there may be counterfeit bills still in circulation from these suspect's activity. If you encounter money that you suspect is phony, please report it by calling SCPD.

April 29, 2016

SCPD Media Release- Arrest in Child Pornography Investigation

On April 28, 2016, the Santa Cruz Police Department concluded a months-long child pornography investigation with the arrest of Mr. Jonathan Wells, 43 years old Soquel resident. Mr. Wells works as a metal shop worker in San Jose.
Jonathan Wells, 43 years old ,Soquel resident
The investigation began in late December 2015, where SCPD investigators accessed a network suspected of distributing child pornography. Over the following months, detectives used an undercover identity and were able to access shared files containing child pornography on the network. This included child pornography files being shared by Mr. Wells.

Through continued investigation, Detectives were able to identify Mr. Wells as a source of the child pornography files shared on the network. On April 28th, SCPD Detectives served a search warrant and arrested Mr. Wells at his home in the 3700 block of Vista Drive in Soquel. Detectives seized a number of computers and external drives that were used to download and/or provide child pornography on the network.

Mr. Wells confessed to both downloading child pornography as well as making files available for sharing on the network. Mr. Wells was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail for Possession of Child Pornography.

During the search warrant, Detectives seized 39 firearms from Mr. Wells’ home. The firearms included 6 handguns,
two assault style rifles, large caliber rifles and an assorted collection of black powder firearms.
Investigators are looking into the whether the firearms were legally owned by Mr. Wells.

The Santa Cruz Police Department is an affiliate agency of the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce (ICAC). As such, we work with the ICAC taskforce both proactively and reactively to investigate criminals who are engaged in the sexual exploitation of children. The discovery of this network was the result of a proactive operation by the Santa Cruz Police Department.