May 22, 2017

Weekend Highlights

Although the weather was warm and the crowds were large this weekend, most of the action occurred at the end of last week.

On Wednesday May 17th officers responded to a stabbing in the area of California and Otis St. The stabbing was the result of a road rage incident between a motorist and a bicyclist. The bicyclist was reported to be riding in and out of traffic on Mission St. When the motorist took exception to this, an altercation ensued. The victim suffered a non-life threatening stab wound and self-transported himself to Dominican Hospital.

The suspect was quickly identified as Nathan Becker of Santa Cruz. Becker was located the following day by the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office in the unincorporated area of Watsonville and taken into custody. Becker was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail for attempted murder.

On Thursday May 18th officers responded to the 200 block of Ocean St for a subject armed with a rifle. The subject walked into a business, began rambling and brandished the rifle. Shortly after, the subject left the store and discarded the rifle at his residence nearby. Officers contacted the subject in the 300 block of Ocean St and was able to safely detain the subject. The subject was identified as John Oberg, a 58 year old Santa Cruz resident. Oberg gave officers consent to enter his home and confiscate a .22 caliber rifle.

Oberg was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail brandishing the rifle and disorderly conduct.

However, the weekend ended on a positive note, with Officer Cross being able to make this visitor extremely happy. Officer Cross found a wallet in the beach area, and after some good detective work, was able to reconnect the owner with her wallet.

May 19, 2017

Sign Up Now for Teen Public Safety Academy 2017

Santa Cruz Police and Fire Departments offer teens ages 13-19 the opportunity to learn more about law enforcement and the fire service in this summer’s Teen Public Safety Academy.
In the one-week course, participants gain an understanding of what it takes to become a law enforcement officer, firefighter, 911 dispatcher, and emergency responder through direct observation and participation.

Class sessions are Session #1 July 10-14 - Session #2 July 17-21 - Session #3 August 24-28
Each session runs Monday through Friday 8 am - 4 pm.

Applications should be submitted as soon as possible. Spaces in the Teen Academy fill up quickly. Limited to 20 teen recruits per session. Click here for an application. 
Each action-packed session will include hands-on learning and demonstrations with Santa Cruz Police and Fire Departments. Recruits will engage in a daily physical fitness program in addition to effective instruction from expert police and fire personnel. 
The summer Teen Academy courses developed by the Santa Cruz Police Department provide a phenomenal opportunity to Santa Cruz teenagers who are considering serving their community in careers in law enforcement or public safety, and to those who are interested in learning public safety skills.
During the Academy, SCPD Officers will provide instruction to the students in various areas of law enforcement, including patrol operations, criminal investigations, public safety dispatching, SWAT, and Police K-9 unit. 
The teen academy recruits also receive instruction on fire department operations, learn basic firefighting principles and obtain CPR certification.

The program fee is $40 and includes a T-Shirt and lunches. Graduation ceremonies for each teen academy will be on Friday at 3:30 pm. Family members are invited to attend!

For more information contact: Leo Gomez (831) 420-5952 or - Click here for an application.  

May 17, 2017

Great SCPD police work recovers stolen vehicle in an hour! Officer returns truck to owner ASAP

On Tuesday, 5/16/17, approximately 7:38 am, SPCD Officer Burnham responded to the report of a stolen vehicle downtown on the 1100 block of Pacific Avenue. About an hour later, PO Burnham spotted the stolen Toyota 4Runner driving on River Street. A high-risk car stop was conducted, and the driver plus two occupants were detained without incident. The driver, Phillip Penn, 42-years-old, transient from Santa Cruz, was arrested for auto theft. 

The follow-up investigation located video surveillance footage confirming Phillip Penn as the subject who stole the vehicle. Evidence indicated that the steering column was damaged to employ a hot-wire technique to start the engine. In short order, SCPD officers returned the stolen truck to the grateful owner.

Auto theft is on the rise; the positive news is SCPD has a proven track record for recovering stolen cars. In the last 30 days, SCPD has recovered 35 cars reported stolen in the City of Santa Cruz.

As a community, we can work together 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.

SCPD Tips To Prevent Auto Theft 
• 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.
• Do not leave valuables in plain view, such as briefcases, purses, wallets, laptop/camera bags, gym bags or cellular phones. 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.

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.

May 11, 2017

Santa Cruz First Responders to the Rescue!

Santa Cruz Police Department, Santa Cruz Fire Department and Harbor Patrol’s coordinated effort rescued a man who injured himself jumping off the wharf.
On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at approximately 8:36 pm, Santa Cruz Police responded to a report of an individual calling for help in the water while grasping onto a wharf piling. The 27-year-old man from Santa Cruz was dared to jump from the end of the wharf for $20. He accepted the challenge and jumped. In the process, he suffered a hip and leg injury. Within minutes, SCPD, joined by Fire and Rescue swimmers brought him aboard the Harbor Patrol boat on the scene.

The integrated response between SCPD, SCFD and Harbor Patrol resulted in a successful rescue. The wharf jumper was airlifted to a Bay Area Trauma Center for treatment.

May 5, 2017

SCPD Uses Lego & Video Q & A to Connect with Community at City Hall To You - Community Builds Public Safety Lego Bar Graph - SCPD Priorities!

At last night's City Hall to You event, SCPD asked attendees what’s your #1 Public Safety Concern in your neighborhood?

THANK YOU to all who participated asked questions and held conversations. SCPD Chiefs and Officers spoke face to face with community members discussing solutions and strategies to address problem issues in the area West of the River.
The attendees built this Lego bar graph showing their biggest concerns regarding their neighborhood.

Theft and Nuisance Crimes topped the charts as the most primary concern amongst participants, followed by Drug Use/Sales. Traffic/Speeding and Illegal Camping were only slightly less important than the other two categories and finished with an equal number of bricks.
The Community and SCPD share the same Public Safety priorities.

SCPD also offered the opportunity to "Ask The Police A Question" on camera. We recorded the questions and are in the process of putting answers to video.
SCPD will share these community members questions with answers from officers in future posts.

May 3, 2017

Identity of Pedestrian in May 1, 2017 Hit &Run Collision

The victim in the vehicle versus pedestrian collision that occurred on May 1, 2017, has been identified as Elizabeth Green from the Bonny Doon community. Elizabeth’s family from out of town are at her bedside. The 62-year-old woman suffered major injuries and is in critical condition.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation.

On Monday, May 1, 2017, at approximately 8:36 pm, Santa Cruz Police officers responded to a report of a hit and run collision involving a vehicle and a pedestrian in the 700 block of West Cliff Drive. Officers arrived and found a 62-year-old woman lying in the roadway. She had been struck by a passing vehicle. Witnesses reported that the driver initially stopped, then fled the scene. Officers tended to the victim until the arrival of Emergency Medical crews. She was airlifted to a Bay Area Trauma Center.

Witnesses described the suspect vehicle that fled the scene as a red convertible Buick LeSabre. Minutes later, an SCPD officer located a 1994 red Buick with damage to the front windshield traveling in the roundabout on Beach Street. The officer conducted a car stop on the 400 block of Front Street.
The suspect driver, Lorenzo Arteaga, 63 years old from San Jose, was arrested. Mr. Arteaga was booked into county jail for felony hit and run with injury.
Anyone who has information or who may have witnessed the collision is encouraged to contact SCPD at 831- 420-5820.