July 15, 2014

July Name That Thief - Round 2

We’re back after a short hiatus to deal with the harbor death investigation which took on a national media persona.

Round 2 of July “Name That Thief” features two cases.  Both cases are from Costco, who has amazing video for us.  In Case #1 we are still looking for the suspect.  In case #2 we have identified and arrested the suspects.  Here are your clues:
Case #1

Our suspect in this case is dubbed “El Mustachio the Magician” because he makes a Bose Soundlink speaker disappear before your very eyes…..actually after he steps behind an aisle.  

Aside from his amazing magic skills, he derives his name from the predominate mustache he is sporting along with those Ugg style boots.  He is described as a white male 30-40 years old. Here are still shots from the video:

This theft occurred on July 7th at around 2:00 PM.  EL Mustachio selects a Bose speaker and then ducks in behind an aisle to take the speaker out of the box and conceal it under his shirt and jacket.  El Mustachio then walks out of the store failing to pay for the speaker.  Too bad they can’t make is start playing music remotely!

Here is a video of El Mustachio selecting his box.        

Here is a video of the magic trick.  Watch closely as El Mustachio makes the box disappear while adjusting his shirt and holding his arms in that telltale “I have something hidden under my shirt” look. 

Help us identify El Mustachio the Magician before he makes more merchandise disappear from our stores.

Case #2

Case #2 features that classic moment when you realize you left the store and forgot to steal everything you wanted.

On July 6th, our two suspects entered Costco and selected electronics equipment including a universal charger and a Bose Soundlink.  Point of advice here….If you buy a used Bose Soundlink, there is a high probability it is stolen, so ask to see the receipt.  

They concealed their loot from the first run into the females purse and headed out the store.  Then it hits them….we forgot to steal everything on the list!!!  Back into the store they go.

This time they select a Blu-ray disc of the movie “Breaking Bad”…(the irony is rich here) and a pair of shoes.  They go back over to the Bose Soundlinks, remove the disc from the holder and the female slips off her shoes and puts on the new shoes.

Here is a video of them doing this second theft. 

This couple was destined for the Name That Thief contest, but excellent work by our officers identified them before I could get them on the blog.  In a subsequent case on July 13th, they were arrested and identified as:

Gelal Aydogu – 24 year old, Transient

 Shara Agostini – 27 years old, Transient

Aydogu is already “On Probation”.  Both have a history of drug related arrests.

This makes three theft cases from Costco alone.  They were booked for Burglary and Conspiracy. 

July 7, 2014

Round 1 of July Name That Thief

It is time for Round 1 of July’s “Name That Thief”.

We had a successful June with a number of suspects identified through your tips.  Let’s keep the momentum and see if you can help us identify July’s sticky-fingered crooks.   
Here’s your clues: 

My girlfriend and I decided it was time to do something with our hair, but salons can be so pricey these days.  We decided to take matters into our own hands….and purses.  To do our own hair, we would need professional quality products, so we visited the Westside Beauty Supply.

Using one of the oldest tricks in the book….My girlfriend or I would distract the clerk, while the other would load up our handbags with quite a few products.  We headed out the door with our loot.  The whole plan went so well, until we saw our pictures on the police department’s blog and Facebook.  Now we stand a real good chance of getting caught.   At least my hair will look good for the booking photo.

Here’s a video of me stealing hair care product and putting it in my bag. 

 This theft occurred on June 4th at around 1:00 PM.  Both suspects are described as white female adults in their early to mid 20’s.  Both are about 5’01” one with blonde hair, and one with brown hair.

For the tipster that identifies our suspect(s), we’ll throw in a bottle of your favorite Dollar Tree shampoo autographed by the Chief!

Refer to Case #14S-04512

As Always, you can contact our Investigations Unit with your tips, or use our Anonymous Tip Line at (831) 420-5995 

You can also leave an anonymous tip via our Website at www.santacruzpolice.com, or our Smartphone App available for Apple and Droid 

July 3, 2014

Fireworks Prohibited – Violators Subject To Triple Fine Penalties – July 4-6, 2014 - Minimum Fine $532

With thousands of visitors expected to visit Santa Cruz over the upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend, the Santa Cruz City Council has taken steps to ensure the City remains safe and clean for everyone.  The Santa Cruz City Council has approved a citywide safety enhancement zone for July 4-6, 2014. This means tripling of fines for violations such as the discharge of fireworks, littering and public consumption of alcohol. With additional court costs, minimum fines will be $532. 

The Santa Cruz Police Department will be actively seeking out and aggressively enforcing all violations that have been designated for triple fines under the safety enhancement zone, including the following violations of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code:
  • Fireworks
  • Possession of Open Containers or Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages in Public Places
  • Discharge of Firearms
  • Graffiti
  • Defacing Sidewalks
  • Noise Violations
  • Trespassing
  • Conduct on Public Property
  • Urinating/Defecating in Public  
If you witness illegal fireworks being discharged or any of the violations listed above, the Santa Cruz Police Department strongly encourages you to call 9-1-1 immediately to report the incident. We ask that you are willing to assist us by signing a complaint against the person(s) responsible and be willing to testify in court, if necessary. We are relying on our partnership with the community to keep us all safe this 4th of July. 

For more information, click on the following links:

City Newsroom

Information Report to City Council

Thank you and have a safe Independence Day holiday weekend.

June 30, 2014

SCPD Introduces the Neighborhood Enforcement Team (N.E.T.)

Several years ago, the Santa Cruz Police Department created a specialized unit whose primary focus was suppression of crimes of violence, gangs and drugs.  This highly effective team was called the Street Crimes Unit.  A few years ago, we had to scale back the number of personnel assigned to this team as a result of staffing shortages caused by long-term injuries, retirements and attrition.  The police department currently has 94 sworn police officer positions that are funded in our annual budget, however in April, 2013 the City Council authorized us to hire up to five additional police officer positions in anticipation of upcoming retirements.  Recently, the Santa Cruz Police Department has achieved full staffing of 94 sworn staff.  We just hired a police officer to fill our first overfill police officer position in May, bringing our complement of sworn staff to 95.  We anticipate hiring a few more overfill positions within the next few months.  We currently have two police officers in our field training program and four police recruits in the police academy.

With our recent success of achieving full staffing, we have been able to staff the specialized unit, formerly known as the Street Crimes Unit, with a sergeant (supervisor) and a full complement of police officers.  The fully-staffed unit went back in service on Saturday May 24th.  With the reformation of this unit, we decided to freshen things up a little with a name change.  This unit is now called our Neighborhood Enforcement Team (N.E.T.).  The name change more accurately reflects the team’s primary focus on criminal issues that affect the quality of life within our neighborhoods.  The mission of the Neighborhood Enforcement Team will be to enhance the safety of our neighborhoods by addressing criminal concerns through resource collaboration and varied enforcement efforts.  The goal of the Neighborhood Enforcement Team will be neighborhood improvement through inter-departmental and inter-agency cooperation.

The Neighborhood Enforcement Team has hit the ground running since its inception on May 24th.  During their first month, they effectively addressed the following neighborhood crime issues:

·         27 proactive* felony arrests
·         17 proactive misdemeanor arrests
·         Participated in narcotic enforcement with Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team
·         Participated in prostitution enforcement with Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team
·         Participated in uniformed and plain clothes directed enforcement in neighborhoods
·         Recovered a handgun and arrested four suspects during a vehicle stop following a shooting incident on West Cliff Drive
As we move forward, the Neighborhood Enforcement Team will focus their efforts in the following areas:

·         Collaborate with our Community Services Unit to identify problem locations
·         Collaborate with neighborhood groups to address nuisance issues, both criminal and non-criminal
·         Continue directed enforcement in neighborhoods
·         Narcotic and prostitution enforcement in collaboration with the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team
·         Conduct home visits and searches of persons on active probation and parole
·         Collaborate with various SCPD specialized units to address criminal activity downtown and in our parks and open spaces
·         Assist the Patrol Division with high priority calls for service
·         Assist Investigations Division in locating/apprehending wanted fugitives

The Santa Cruz Police Department Neighborhood Enforcement Team is committed to improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods and throughout our City through proactive and creative problem solving efforts, aggressive enforcement and effective resource deployment.  We are pleased to have our newly-branded Neighborhood Enforcement Team at the forefront of our efforts.  The Santa Cruz Police Department strives for continuous improvement and is committed to keeping our City and our community members safe.   

June 24, 2014

Chief Vogel Hits the Local Newstalk Airwaves

Chief Kevin Vogel took to the local radio airwaves this morning.  Along with his trusty Deputy Chief sidekick, the two dusted off their "radio voices" and were guests on KSCO’s Good Morning Monterey Bay with Rosie Chalmers. 

These two have worked together their entire careers and have over 55 years of local law enforcement experience between the two of them.  

 The Chief talked with Rosie on everything from the upcoming police department budget, staffing levels, July 4th preparations, Safety Enhancement Zone and fireworks enforcement, to the department’s use of Social Media to catch crooks….like this blog.    

On the budget, the City Council is expected to complete the final budget approval for our Fiscal Year 2015 budget.  In that, the police department is focusing on strengthening our core services and long overdue equipment replacement.  The department will also be restructuring some of our civilian personnel to improve efficiency and better meet needs.

On overall police staffing, we are proud to announce that we are fully staffed in the sworn police officer ranks.  This is the first time in many, many years we have been able to make this declaration!  We will pause for you all to do the wave!!!  We have actually hired 16 police officers over the last year.  We currently have a team of 4 attending the police academy.  They are expected to graduate the academy and placed in the field training program in September.  We are recruiting for Police Records Technician and Police Property Attendant positions.    

On July 4th, this is an “All Hands on Deck” situation for the department throughout the entire July 4th weekend.   We will have teams deployed in and around West Cliff, Main Beach (Boardwalk) and Seabright areas…..We will also have added patrols to the rest of the city to address our regular onslaught of calls for service.  Fireworks enforcement is a particular concern this year with the extremely dry conditions surrounding the city.  Throughout the weekend, the police department will respond to literally hundreds of fireworks calls in neighborhoods.

The City Council will be considering a citywide Safety Enhancement Zone for the July 4th weekend to address the increased fire danger posed by fireworks this year.  The Safety Enhancement Zone creates a “Triple Fine” for certain Municipal Code violations, including fireworks.  The measure is intended to serve as a deterrent when individuals consider the cost of a fireworks citation.

Finally, our use of Social Media has been a huge success with our “Name That Thief” feature.  We are running about 75% success rate with tips on theft suspects placed on the blog from surveillance photos.  Great job Santa Cruz!!!  The department also completed our first Virtual Ride Along last week, Tweeting out the day’s activities for Officer Carly Cross on day shift.

Keep naming those thieves, and keep tuned to our blog and Facebook to see what we are up to.   

June 17, 2014

Three Cases for June’s Round 3 of “Name That Thief”

Since the bag of station house coffee reward was such a big hit, we are going to “up the ante” for Round 3 of "Name That Thief".

For the correct tip that identifies these suspects, we are giving away this authentic baseball signed by the SCPD Detectives.  Sure to be a collector’s item???

Here are your clues: 
Case #1 

On May 17th, I broke into a parked car on Lincoln Street in Santa Cruz.  I took a wallet, drill set and walkie-talkies.  I proceeded to go on a shopping spree with my new stolen credit cards and made 10 separate purchases from places like Ross, Office Max, CVS, Woodstock’s Pizza and the like.
I also haul around a skateboard and a backpack.
 Sometimes, I like to tuck my long hair into a stocking cap.  

Please help the police catch me, so I don’t make more victims in your community.  Refer to Detective Brian Warren and Case #14S-03947
Case #2 
On May 25th, I smashed a back window on a car in the 500 block of Buena Vista.  Rifling through the car, I found a wallet full of credit cards.  I used my newfound riches to buy things at Valero, Home Depot and Target. 

I have formed a partnership with this guy, who helped me spend some of the victim’s money. 

We need to get caught so we don’t steal things in your neighborhoods.  Refer to Detective Brian Warren and Case #14S-20800
Case #3 
On June 13th I casually walked into Walgreens on Front Street with my own shopping bags.  I proceeded to fill my empty bags with merchandise from the store.  It is important to be a well-dressed thief, and I found I was drawn to clothing like T-Shirts and Hoodies that had “Santa Cruz” printed on them.  I also took several pairs of socks to match my new shirts. 

I casually walked out of the store and got on a black cruiser style bike and rode away.  

If you see me selling these things, I am not a licensed vendor and my merchandise is a little “warm to the touch”....if you know what I mean?  

Refer to Officer Carly Cross and Case #14S-04798.  

As Always, you can contact our Investigations Unit with your tips, or use our Anonymous Tip Line at (831) 420-5995 

You can also leave an anonymous tip via our Website at www.santacruzpolice.com, or our Smartphone App available for Apple and Droid