January 19, 2017

SCPD Is Seeking The Public’s Help To Reunite Recovered Stolen Property To The Rightful Owners

SCPD Recovered Stolen Property in a Drug Arrest -  We are seeking the public’s help to reunite the following items to the rightful owners ASAP. Case 16S-10680

On January 7, 2017, the Santa Cruz Police Department Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) with assistance from the SCPD Downtown Unit, Investigations Section and K-9 unit served search and arrest warrants at a residence in the City of Watsonville.

Augusto Agustin,40 years old from Watsonville
While serving the search warrant, officers collected approximately 100 items of property at Mr. Agustin’s residence that officers believe is likely stolen. Among the items collected were bicycles, tools, multiple laptop computers, tablets, musical instruments such as ukuleles, violins and a xylophone and new unopened items that officers believe were stolen from local businesses.

The search and arrest warrant service was the culmination of an approximately one month investigation that NET had been conducting into the activities of Augusto Agustin. During the investigation undercover officers obtained heroin from Mr. Agustin on multiple occasions. It was also learned that Mr. Agustin was trading in stolen property, taking stolen property in trade for heroin.

Officers have since identified several victims and have returned approximately 1,300 dollars’ worth of stolen property that was collected from Mr. Agustin’s residence.
These photos are of property collected that we believe to be stolen. The Santa Cruz Police department is looking for the public’s assistance in identifying these items in the hopes that they can be returned to their rightful owners.

If you believe any of these items belong to you, contact SCPD Property Unit refer to case 16S-10680
scpdproperty@cityofsantacruz.com or (831) 420-5900. You will be required to submit proof of ownership (case number, prior photo, receipt, serial number,etc.) to claim the property.

January 17, 2017

SCPD Arrest 3 for Armed Robbery & Stolen Car Recovered Victims Lured by “Exotic Dancer” Ad on Craiglist

On Monday, January 16, 2017 at approximately 7:49 am, Santa Cruz Police responded to a report of an armed robbery at a motel in the 600 block of Riverside Ave. Two gentlemen callers had answered a craigslist advertisement seeking a “exotic dance” from a professional dancer in a motel room. The male victims arrived at the motel room and provided money to the woman who they assumed was the dancer.

The woman stated she was going to get the rest of her friends who were also going to dance for them. After she walked out, three black male suspects entered the motel room. The male victims realized that these men were not the dancers they had intended on hiring and became concerned.

When the victim’s asked for their money back, one of the suspects pointed a handgun at them. The suspects told the victims they were keeping their money. Both victims left the room fearing for their safety.

SCPD patrol quickly set up a perimeter around the block and searched the motel rooms. The perimeter search took about two hours to diligently cover the area. Ultimately, SCPD Officers located two of the male suspects on the property and the female suspect inside a room. One male suspect and the gun are still outstanding. 

Denzel Freeman, 20 years old from Modesto
Denzel Freeman, 20 years old from Modesto, was arrested for armed robbery, possession of stolen property and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Timothy Towsel, 18 years old from Ceres CA 

Timothy Towsel, 18 years old from Ceres CA, was arrested for armed robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime. 
Maria Elena Torres, 20 years old from San Jose
Maria Elena Torres, 20 years old from San Jose was arrested for armed robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime.
SCPD Officers also recovered an unoccupied stolen car in the motel parking lot that had been carjacked out of Sacramento. SCPD Officers were able to tie the suspect Denzel Freeman to the stolen car. Mr. Freeman was in possession of the stolen car keys when he was arrested.

SCPD Tips to Avoid Being a Victim of Craigslist Robbery
• Do not meet in a secluded area.
• Do not travel to a location with a large amount of cash
• If someone or something looks suspicious, leave.
• If you are threatened, give the subjects the property they are asking for.

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

January 11, 2017

Sergeant Arnold Vasquez Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute Graduate

LT. Escalante and SGT. Vasquez
Today, Sergeant Arnold Vasquez graduated from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute. The Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute is a leadership program developed by the California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST). This program is designed to stimulate personal growth, leadership, and ethical decision-making in California law enforcement front-line supervisors.

“This leadership training opportunity is the perfect forum to help develop the skill-sets of our line-level supervisors, giving them the tools needed to interact with and mentor other officers,” said Chief Kevin Vogel.

After completing the 9-month course, Sergeant Vasquez joins many other SCPD supervisors and managers who have attended this valuable program.

Sgt. Vasquez, a 17 year veteran SCPD officer, successfully completed the intensive leadership development program. It is an ongoing goal of the Santa Cruz Police Department to consistently provide the training necessary for effective public safety leadership.

Congratulations to Sergeant Arnold Vasquez on his achievement.

January 10, 2017

SCPD is pleased to announce its two new K9 Teams!

Officer Hansen and his K9 partner “Cash” & Officer Hernandez and his partner “Luna”

Both Teams recently graduated from their month long K9 Handler Patrol Course, and will begin working the streets in December 2016. Each K9 teams received training in the following:
· Area & building searches
· Handler protection & apprehension
· Article searches & tracking/trailing
· Narcotic detection.

After the K9 Patrol course both the handler and their K9 partner were certified by an evaluator prior to work in the field.
“Cash” is a 2 year old male Belgian Malinois and “Luna” is a 2 year old female Dutch Shepard. Both K9s have been imported from overseas, and in October 2016, the K9’s were introduced and moved in with their handlers. After the bonding period both teams began the K9 Patrol Course and are now certified K9 Teams.
The City of Santa Cruz community’s appreciation and gratitude extended to the Santa Cruz Police Department’s K9 Unit has been nothing short of extraordinary. Police K9 “Cash” was purchased through a community member’s donation of $8,500.00. The City of Santa Cruz resident, who wished to remain anonymous, donated the money in memory of their child.
When asked about such a gracious offer, they replied, “It’s an honor to memorialize my late son, while helping provide support that protects our officers and community.” The donor was allowed to name the K9, and they chose the name “Cash” upon their first meeting. The Santa Cruz Police Department is grateful for the community’s participation in its K9 Unit.

The Santa Cruz Police K9 Unit has had a long successful history in enhancing our police services. Our K9 Unit is primarily used for locating people, contraband and apprehending criminal offenders.

Congratulations to K9’s Cash and Luna.

January 9, 2017

SCPD Proactive Policing and Shooting Investigation

SCPD Proactive Policing Gets 2 Suspects arrested, 9 grams of meth and $4,000 of drug money out of Harvey West Park.
On January 5, 2017 at 5:22 pm, an SCPD Officer was  on active patrol and spotted a known drug dealer in the area of Harvey West and Dubois. The Officer witnessed the suspects, Calvin Carlson and his associate Suzanne Winchel, parked in a car and appeared to be engaged in narcotic activity. Groups of people came up to the vehicle for short periods of time and then would walk away. 

Calvin Carlson 52 years old from Santa Cruz
The Officer pulled up behind the suspect’s car and contacted Carlson and Winchel. While the Officer was speaking with the suspects, a group of people who had been speaking to Carlson tried to interfere and prevent the officer from searching the vehicle. Additional officers were called for backup and the group of transients dispersed.
Suzanne Winchel 40 years old from Santa Cruz 
Calvin Carlson 52 years old and Suzanne Winchel 40 years old are both from Santa Cruz. The suspects were recognizable to the Officer because of their long criminal history and contacts with the PD. The Officer also confirmed through the Santa Cruz County Court website that Mr. Carlson was recently out on bail and had search terms for controlled substances, paraphernalia and drug sales.
A search of the suspect’s car and possessions produced 9 grams of meth and $4,000 in cash.
Calvin Carlson and Suzanne Winchel were arrested for possession of controlled substance for sale.
SCPD is working collaboratively with neighborhood groups such as; the Harvey West Business Association, Homeless Service Center, and Parks and Recreation, in order to address neighborhood concerns and safety issues within the Harvey West area.

Shooting Investigation
On Saturday January 7, 2017 at 11:37 am, SCPD Officers responded to reports of several shots fired near the 1300 block of Soquel Avenue. Santa Cruz Police Officers were patrolling the area and quickly identified that the gunfire came from Soquel Avenue and Darwin Street. When Officers arrived at the scene they located several shell casings. Officers canvassed the immediate area and surrounding blocks and did not find where the rounds struck. Local hospitals were contacted and none of them reported any victims with gunshot wounds.

Currently, there is no information regarding suspects on the shooting. Detectives are continuing to follow up leads and looking for video surveillance. The police department is asking anyone with information or who may have witnessed the shooting to contact investigators 831- 420-5820.

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.

January 6, 2017

Severe Winter Storm and Flooding advisory

The City of Santa Cruz and the Police Department are preparing for the upcoming winter storm this weekend. Heavy rain is expected Saturday and Sunday. Both the Police and Fire Department's will be monitoring flood zones throughout the weekend. For more information on how to prepare for a storm such as this, please follow this link: 
For information on how to obtain free sandbags please go to the following:
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SCPD Policy Manual Now Available Online

The Santa Cruz Police Department is pleased to announce that our policy manual, in its entirety, is now available online.  We recognize the importance of transparency in municipal government and have taken this important step to make our policy manual available for public consumption.  The policy manual is available by clicking here:  Santa Cruz Police Department Policy Manual