September 23, 2016

Help Us Identify Leads In Murder Investigation

    On Thursday September 22, 2016 at approximately 12:26 a.m. the Santa Cruz Police Department responded to the report of multiple gunshots in the area of Broadway and Pennsylvania Avenue. Upon our arrival, one victim was located with multiple gunshot wounds to his upper torso.

    The victim, 23 year old Hispanic male, was transported to Dominican Hospital before being pronounced deceased. The identity of the victim is being withheld until proper notification to family members can be completed.

    Police interviewed witnesses who reported hearing multiple shots. At this time, there is no further description of any vehicles or the suspects. No other persons sustained injuries as a result of the shooting.

    This is the third homicide of the year. Detectives are following up on leads that developed overnight and canvassing the area looking for additional information or evidence. At this point, no motive for the shooting has been established.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigations Unit (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.

September 21, 2016

SCPD Conducts Community Public Safety Survey

The Santa Cruz Police Department is conducting a community-wide survey on public safety and police service in the City of Santa Cruz. This survey is being conducted in order to gain insight into the issues that impact our community.

Chief Kevin Vogel said, “We are excited to hear from our community on the issues that affect them the most and the service offered by the hard working men and women of our department”.

If you live and/or work in the City of Santa Cruz, you are invited to participate in the survey. By completing the survey, you will be providing the police department with valuable information on the issues that are most important to you. In turn, we can use this information to focus resources, strategize and better serve our community.

The survey should take 10-15 minutes and your responses are anonymous.

The survey will be available over the next 3 months, until December 21, 2016. The survey will be available in English and Spanish. The survey is offered online at and for Spanish language.

A link to the survey is on our Website at The survey is also available in hard copy for those without Internet access. Copies can be obtained at the front counter of the police department at 155 Center Street.

QR CODE to Community Survey in English

QR CODE to Community Survey in Spanish
We appreciate community members taking the time to complete our survey and share their observations. We look forward to releasing the results of the survey in the New Year.

September 20, 2016

3rd Suspect Arrested & Handgun Recovered in Homicide Investigation

The Santa Cruz Police Department announces the arrest of a third suspect in the August 23rd homicide on the San Lorenzo River Levee. Cristobal Natividad, 41 years old from Santa Cruz has been identified and arrested as an accessory to homicide.
Cristobal Natividad, 41 years old from Santa Cruz 
Evidence has shown Cristobal Natividad was in close association with Nino Ruiz and Jenessa Kic immediately following the homicide.

A handgun was recovered from a residence in the 2500 block of Capitola Road in Santa Cruz. The handgun is registered to a relative of Cristobal Natividad. Detectives believe it was the weapon used by Nino Ruiz in the homicide.

No further details on the arrest or the handgun recovery can be released at this time.

Homicide Investigation Background:
Nino Ruiz has been identified and arrested as the suspect shooter in the homicide on 8/23/16. Jenessa Kic was also arrested for murder and conspiracy to commit a murder. Nino Ruiz is 27 years old, a transient from Santa Cruz County and Jenessa Kic is 31 years old from Santa Cruz. SCPD Detectives spotted Ruiz in the 300 block of Liebrant Avenue late yesterday morning. Nino Ruiz and Jenessa Kic were detained at 12:10 pm, coming out of a residence on Liebrant Avenue.

Detectives worked continuously to interview multiple witnesses and track down numerous leads that directed the investigation to the two suspects. Jenessa Kic is the girlfriend of Mr. Ruiz and was determined to be associated with the murder. Both suspects were in custody within four hours after the shooting. SCPD Detectives have served search warrants on several of the homes that Ruiz has visited.

This is the second homicide of the year.

September 19, 2016

Lucky Kid gets his bike back on same day it was stolen!

Lucky Kid gets his bike back on same day it was stolen. 
This morning a sharp-eyed citizen called SCPD about a bike that appeared abandoned and out of place in the neighborhood. SCPD recovered the bike that was stolen earlier this morning. CSO Sanchez tracked down the license number that was recently documented in SCPD's Online Bike Registration program. CSO Sanchez contacted the family and returned the bike to the rightful owner- this lucky kid!  Great teamwork ALL the way around!

Two Lessons Learned 
#1 Lock your bike at all times, even if just for a few minutes.
#2 Improve the chances of your bike being returned by registering it with SCPD’s Online Bicycle Registration program. It’s FREE and never expires! Details on SCPD Blog

Bike Theft: Realities and Risks

The Santa Cruz Police Department continues to encourage residents to be partners in public safety. Anyone with information regarding criminal activity is encouraged to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department at (831) 420-5820 or Anonymous Tip Line (831) 420-5995.

September 15, 2016

SCPD Announces Lieutenant and Sergeant Promotions

The Santa Cruz Police Department proudly announces the promotion of two veteran officers to the position of Police Lieutenant and Police Sergeant. Introducing Lieutenant Jose Garcia and Sergeant Karina Ceceña
Both Lieutenant Garcia and Sergeant Ceceña were promoted on Wednesday afternoon September 14 following a rigorous and competitive testing process. "Jose Garcia and Karina Ceceña demonstrate dedication and leadership skills at the highest levels and will be strong assets to our leadership team,” said Chief Vogel.
Lieutenant Jose Garcia
Lieutenant Garcia started his career by volunteering with the Santa Cruz Police Department as a teen. He continued on and became a non-sworn Community Service Officer before being hired as a Police Officer trainee in 2001.

Over the course of his career, Lieutenant Garcia has worked as a foot patrol officer in the Beach area, worked in investigations as a detective, served as a canine handler, and was one of the founding members of the Emergency Services Unit Tactical team.

Lieutenant Garcia has supervised Patrol teams and specialized teams such as the Canine Unit, and Neighborhood Enforcement Team. He has co-coordinated and instructed the department’s Citizen’s Police Academy in both English and Spanish languages. Lieutenant Garcia is currently serving in the Professional Standards Unit.

Sergeant Karina Ceceña
Sergeant Ceceña is a 16 year veteran of the police department. Sergeant Ceceña began her career assigned to uniform patrol. She soon transitioned to the Canine Unit where she became an accomplished handler. She partnered with K-9 Jax for the next eight years. Sergeant Ceceña and K-9 Jax were credited with locating and apprehending numerous suspects and recovering several crucial items of evidence such as handguns and other weapons.

Throughout her career, Sergeant Ceceña has worked in patrol, investigations, K-9 and has been a member of the Emergency Services Unit Tactical Team. Sergeant Ceceña most recently served as a Field Training Officer instructing and training new patrol officers.

Born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles, Sergeant Ceceña has enjoyed living and working in Santa Cruz.

Chief Vogel said of both Lieutenant Garcia and Sergeant Ceceña, "They are fully engaged with our community partners and embrace our department's core values. They possess the vital leadership qualities required to uphold the professionalism the community expects from the Santa Cruz Police Department.”

Please join us in celebrating and congratulating these veteran officers on achieving a significant milestone in their careers.

September 13, 2016

UPDATE: Woman and Child have been located. - Missing Person Investigation

UPDATE: Woman and Child have been located in a safe and undisclosed location of her choosing.
The Santa Cruz Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating 37 year old Alice Wieland and her 15 month old daughter Joan Wieland. Alice Wieland voluntarily left without telling family where she was going.
Alice and Joan Wieland were reported missing on 9-11-16 from Santa Cruz. Alice is described as a white female 37 years old, brown hair, blue eyes, 5’7” 170 lbs. Joan is described as 15 months old, 2’10” 22 lbs. blue eyes, with blond hair.

If you know the whereabouts or have seen Alice or Joan Wieland, please contact the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigation Unit at 831- 420-5820.

September 6, 2016

SCPD Notable Cases Over the Labor Day Weekend

The Santa Cruz Police Department responded to 1131 calls for service over the course of Labor Day Weekend. Here are four cases of interest during the busy weekend.
16S-07419  On September 2, 2016, at approximately 11:26 pm, Santa Cruz Police responded to a report that a car had crashed into the Betty’s Burgers at 505 Seabright Ave. A gold Buick Century had smashed into the east-side of the building. Fortunately, Betty’s Burgers was closed at the time of the crash and no one was injured. Witnesses saw approximately four occupants run away from the scene in opposite directions.

While investigating the scene, SCPD received a call from the owner of the car. The owner indicated the driver crashed because he was being chased by another person. The driver, 18 years old male from Santa Cruz, then met with Officers and detailed his account of the incident. The driver indicated that the occupants of a white Dodge Charger were trying to shoot at him.

The driver was arrested for the hit & run and driving under the influence. Gang investigators are following up on this case and any possible gang ties to this incident.

16S- 07423 On September 3, 2016, at approximately 12:52 am, SCPD Officers responded to a report of a victim of a gunshot wound at Dominican Hospital. The victim sustained a non-life-threatening injury. The victim was uncooperative with investigators. Evidence was discovered to substantiate that the victim was shot near Seabright Ave. and Hall Street. Detectives are exploring any connections to the collision case 16S-07419. Early indication is that this incident is gang motivated.

16S-07420  On September 3, 2016 at approximately 12:07 am, Santa Cruz Police responded to a report of multiple gunshots in the 90 block of Chestnut Street. Arriving Officers discovered a drive-by style shooting occurred in a cul-de-sac of an apartment complex. No injuries were reported.

SCPD Officers established a crime scene and recovered several casings. During the investigation, witnesses reported seeing a light colored sedan speeding away from the scene. Preliminary information suggests the shooting is also gang related.

The police department is asking anyone with information or who may have witnessed the shooting to contact investigators. Contact investigators at 831- 420-5820. 

16S-07455  On September 3, 2016, at approximately 11:33 pm, Santa Cruz Police responded to the area of Delaware and Swift for a possible hit and run with a van.

The suspect vehicle described as a white Ford van had hit several street signs and drove erratically tailgating and flashing a bright light behind a car. The driver had intentionally struck down 15 to 20 stop signs.
SCPD Officer located the van and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The driver of the van failed to yield to the officers’ lights and siren and sped away. The pursuit started on Water Street and traveled over Highway 17 when the Santa Cruz CHP took over. San Jose CHP, Santa Clara County Deputies cornered the suspect in Santa Clara at a dead end. Authorities were able to take Christopher Ellebracht, 38 years old from Cupertino into custody without incident.

Please continue to contact SCPD when suspicious activity occurs in your neighborhood. SCPD is dedicated to our community with ongoing efforts to keep Santa Cruz a safe place to live, work and raise a family.