May 22, 2015

Suspect Arrested for Willful Cruelty to a Child

On Thursday May 21, 2015, Santa Cruz Police Detectives arrested Randy Lewthwaite (33 years old) at his home in Santa Cruz for Willful Cruelty to a Child.

The child’s mother reported a suspicious injury on the child’s face which occurred when the child was with the father, Randy Lewthwaite.  CPS and Santa Cruz Police Detectives followed up on the initial report with a visit to the home to check on the child. Their examination of the child showed there was significant bruising still present.

Detectives discovered that Mr. Lewthwaite also had an active warrant for his arrest out of San Mateo County and is on active probation (Prop 36) in Santa Cruz County. Based on their investigation, detectives arrested Mr. Lewthwaite for willful cruelty to a child.

Mr. Lewthwaite was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail.

May 19, 2015

Santa Cruz Police Officer Recognized for Lifesaving Efforts

Today, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors honored the amazing work of emergency responders including, Police Officers, Firefighters, Paramedics and Dispatchers in our county.

We are proud to announce that Santa Cruz Police Officer Jesse Pidcock was one of the first responders recognized for his lifesaving efforts.

In April 2014, William Curtis collapsed while riding his bike on West Cliff.  As the call came out over the radio, Officer Pidcock responded and was the first to arrive.  Officer Pidcock quickly assessed Mr. Curtis’ condition and began CPR.  He continued with CPR until Firefighters and Paramedics arrived.  Thanks to Officer Pidcock’s quick thinking and decisive action, Mr. Curtis is alive and well today.

Officer Pidcock’s response illustrates the commitment of first responders to be well-trained and ready for whatever comes next in their daily assignments.  

For all the first responders recognized in today’s ceremony, SCPD salutes you.  It takes a special kind of dedication to public service to do what you do. 
Thank you to the Board of Supervisors for today’s recognition.  The Santa Cruz Police Department is proud of Officer Jesse Pidcock and we are so pleased Mr. Curtis was able to join us in today’s ceremony.  

May 18, 2015

Help us Identify a Hit and Run Truck and Driver

The Santa Cruz Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying the driver and vehicle involved in hit and run collision in a Westside neighborhood.

On May 17, 2015 at approximately 2:09 pm, the Santa Cruz Police Department responded to multiple reports of two vehicles in a chase in the area of Bay St and California St. Shortly after these initial reports, the police department began receiving calls regarding an injury hit and run in the 400 block of Palm St. 

Witnesses described seeing a grey truck chasing an older black Mercedes in the area of Bay St and California The speeding Mercedes eventually crashed into the curb on Palm St. The chasing truck followed and rear ended the Mercedes. 

After hitting the Mercedes car, the driver of the truck then backed up and rammed the Mercedes for a second time.   Witnesses described the truck intentionally slamming into the victim’s car again. Both drivers were heard yelling at each other in the street.

After intentionally striking the victim’s car, the suspect truck fled westbound on Palm St.  The vehicle had significant front end damage.

The victim driver of the Mercedes was transported to Dominican Hospital with a compound fracture to his leg.

The suspect vehicle is described as light grey full size pickup truck. These photos were provided to us by a witness.  They show the suspect fleeing the scene. The suspect driver is described as being a white male in his late 40s. 

The Santa Cruz Police Department is asking anyone with information or who may have witnessed this hit and run to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigations Unit at (831) 420-5820.   

Anonymous tips can also be sent to the police department through our Tip Line (831) 420-5995, or from our Website; .  Tipsters can also submit an anonymous tip via our smartphone app or from an SMS text.  Visit our Website for instructions.

May 12, 2015

Mayor Lane & City Council Present Proclamation to SCPD

Mayor Don Lane, speaking on behalf of the Santa Cruz City Council recognized the Santa Cruz Police Department in honor of Police Appreciation Week at today’s council meeting.
About National Police Week
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. This week is set to honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation's Capital each year.
Deputy Chief Rick Martinez received a proclamation for SCPD’s hard work in our community.

Mayor Don Lane commended SCPD's ongoing good work in partnership with city.  The proclamation demonstrates that local law enforcement is honored and respected in our community.  

Thank you Mayor Lane and City Council. It is an honor to serve and protect this fine community.

May 11, 2015

Help Us Identify this Armed Robbery Suspect

On May 11, 2015, at approximately 10:15 AM, Santa Cruz Police responded to a report of a robbery at Subway restaurant in the 1700 block of Soquel Ave. 

The suspect entered the restaurant armed with a handgun.  The suspect confronted a store employee and demanded cash.  At gunpoint, the cash was turned over to the suspect and he fled out of the store.

The suspect is described as African American male approximately 6’ to 6’2” tall with a thin build. He is between 50 to 60 years of age. At the time of the robbery, the suspect was wearing a dark blue jacket and carrying a red shoulder bag.
No one was injured in the robbery. 

The robbery was captured on video from the store. Attached are images of the suspect during the robbery.  In one of the photos, the gun could clearly be seen.  Detectives canvassed the businesses in the area for any other video of the suspect. 

The subject involved in this robbery matches the description of similar robberies recently reported in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties.

SCPD is working closely with other law enforcement agencies to collaborate on cases and identify the suspect.


May 7, 2015

SCPD Announces 2 Sergeant Promotions

The Santa Cruz Police Department proudly announces the promotion of two veteran officers to the position of Police Sergeant.  The two were promoted on Wednesday afternoon May 6th following a rigorous and competitive testing process.

Introducing Sergeant Bill Azua and Sergeant Bill Clayton:

Sergeant Bill Azua

Sergeant Azua is a 20 year veteran of the Santa Cruz Police Department.  Sergeant Azua began his career assigned to foot patrol in the Beach Flats neighborhood.  During his assignment, Sergeant Azua worked in partnership with the community to achieve positive change in the Beach Flats.  His active involvement was critical in garnering support for change; raising awareness of gang violence and reducing instances of violent crime. 

Sergeant Azua shows of his new "Sergeant" Badge
Sergeant Azua has enjoyed a number of specialized assignments during his career.  Those include the SCPD Neighbor Enforcement Team, the Santa Cruz County Narcotic Enforcement Team, the DEA Heroin Mobile Task Force, the Santa Cruz Police Department Southern Exposure Task Force, the Downtown and the Field Training Program.  Sergeant Azua is a recognized expert in the field of gang and narcotic related crimes.

Prior to his promotion, Sergeant Azua was working in partnership with the Homeless Shelter Center to provide a better working relationship with law enforcement and the community.

When not working, Sergeant Azua enjoys spending time with his family and watching his kids play sports.

Sergeant Bill Clayton 

Sergeant Clayton started his career at the police department in September of 2003 working as a Community Service Officer.  He was hired as a Police Officer in July of 2004.

Sergeant Clayton has his new "Sergeant" Badge pinned

Sergeant Clayton worked in patrol where he forged important community relationships and employed unique strategies to improve neighborhood quality of life.  Sergeant Clayton spent 5 years in the Traffic Unit as a motorcycle officer where he developed an expertise in traffic collision investigations. Sergeant Clayton also forged a partnership with the California DMV where they developed a new process for tracking down scofflaw car owners during hit and run investigations.

Sergeant Clayton serves on the department’s Emergency Services Unit as an experienced Hostage and Crisis Negotiator. Prior to his promotion, Sergeant Clayton was assigned as a Field Training Officer, responsible for the training of new officers.

Sergeant Clayton holds a degree in criminal justice.  When not at work, Sergeant Clayton enjoys spending time with friends and family either riding dirt bikes or camping near a lake and fishing.

Both new sergeants have a passion and extraordinary talent for teaching and mentoring department staff.  Chief Kevin Vogel said, “We are excited and proud to promote these two well-respected officers to the position of Police Sergeant.  Both have a solid history of hard work, dedication and caring service to our department and community.” 

Both new sergeants will be assigned to the Patrol unit where they will supervise a team of officers. 

Please join us in congratulating and welcoming Sergeant Bill Azua and Sergeant Bill Clayton

May 5, 2015

Cleanup Effort Yields 3.5 Tons of Trash

In response to numerous complaints about illegal camping and dumping, SCPD teamed up with Parks & Recreation for a massive clean-up of the Sycamore Grove. The property runs between the northern portion of Pogonip Park and Highway 9.
This area has been an ongoing makeshift hideout for crime to include illegal camping, drug use and dumping. This activity results in public safety threats and environmental damage.

On April 15th and April 22nd, several railroad cars were heaped with 3.5 tons of trash, including needles and other biohazards that were cleaned out of our environment.

Joining our team, Big Trees Railroad hauled away mounds of garbage on flatbed cars for disposal.

It was a filthy job, but at the end of the project, the area was restored for community use.
The cleanup crew also discovered a myriad of discarded drug paraphernalia, camping gear and even a bike chop-shop hidden in Sycamore Grove.

The process took 2 full days and many hands on deck to clean up the various camps and dump sites.
Believe it or not, this was the second organized cleanup effort in this very same location. The previous cleanup occurred just 2 weeks prior.
Our cleanup team included Park Rangers, Police Officers, Mental Health worker, Big Trees Railroad and up to 10 Labor Ready workers.
This is an ongoing concern for Santa Cruz Park Rangers and SCPD to identify and safely restore areas used for illegal camping and filled with environmental hazards.
Public Safety concerns include trespassing, drugs, sexual assault, theft and vandalism.   Additionally, human waste and garbage is a significant source of pollution to the environment. The health hazards expand into our wildlife habitats and water supply.
Thanks to our team members for their hard work and dedication.