February 12, 2013

Help us Find This Car and Suspect

On February 11, 2013 at approximately 7:30 PM Santa Cruz Police officers responded to a report of a robbery that occurred at a bus stop in the 300 block of Natural Bridges Drive.  Officers contacted the victim (21 year old female UCSC student) who reported being robbed by a person holding a firearm, thought to be a rifle.   The victim was waiting at the bus stop when the suspect appeared from the wooded area behind the bus stop.  The suspect pointed the rifle at the victim and demanded she empty her pockets and hand over the contents.

The victim reported being struck by the suspect in the back of the head with the rifle.  After being hit, the victim ran up Natural Bridges Drive where she flagged down a passing motorist.  While running away she turned back to see the suspect taking her backpack.  The motorist called 9-1-1. 

The victim took note of a white Chrysler PT Cruiser circling the area just prior to the attack.  Officers flooded the area and initiated Project R.O.P.E. for the white PT Cruiser.  The search included police K-9’s, and thermal imaging equipment.  The suspect was described as: 
  • White or light skinned male, approximately 5 feet 7 inches with a medium build.
  • Wearing jeans, grey hoodie
  • Red bandana in a triangle covering the suspect’s face 
  • The suspect was further described as having a gruff voice and several days beard growth
The victim was transported to Dominican Hospital for treatment of her head injury.  At approximately 10:30 PM, officers were called back out to Dominican Hospital when doctors discovered the victim had actually sustained a gunshot wound to the head.  The bullet was discovered lodged in the victim’s skull without penetrating the secondary layer.  The bullet was successfully removed by neurosurgeons.  The victim is expected to make a full recovery and is in stable condition.  

Detectives were called out to the scene where an intensive search for evidence was conducted.  The search included a grid search of the wooded area, metal detectors and police K-9’s.  Detectives were back at the scene this morning looking for additional evidence.  They are also interviewing the victim to assess the feasibility of a suspect sketch.  If the victim is able to produce a useful sketch, I will update this release. 

The Santa Cruz Police Department is actively working with officials at UCSC in the course of this investigation to notify students of safety precautions and seek information.   

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call 9-1-1 or contact the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigations Unit at (831) 420-5820.  Anonymous tips can be left on our tip line or via out mobile iPhone and Droid app.