June 30, 2016

Safely Celebrate 4th of July in Santa Cruz PSA – Safety Enhancement Zone, ROAD CLOSURES and NO PARKING Areas 7/3 through 7/5/16.

We’d like to welcome everyone coming to Santa Cruz to celebrate over the 4th of July weekend. And, remind you that no fireworks of any kind are allowed in the City of Santa Cruz. July 4th traditionally draws a large crowd to the Santa Cruz area. A citywide Safety Enhancement Zone will be enforced from July 3rd until the 5th. The Safety Enhancement Zone enacts “Triple Fines” for certain violations of the Municipal Code.This includes expensive triple fines for violations such as fireworks and public intoxication. It will cost over $1000 for each citation.

In order to maintain a safe environment, every available officer will be actively patrolling to insure residents and visitors enjoy a safe holiday.

Road closures and traffic plan detours will be in effect throughout the City of Santa Cruz this 4th of July weekend. 

ROAD CLOSURES and NO PARKING Areas 7/3 to 7/5
East Cliff Point Parking -- July 3rd through July 4th Starting Friday July 3rd, in the area at E. Cliff will be fenced off and not available to the public. This area will be posted “No Parking” effective 8:00 am on July 3rd and will remain in place through July 4th.

FIRECRACKER 10K -- July 4th, 6:30 am to 10:30 am
The race begins at 8:30 at the Harvey West Scout House and travels through trails in Pogonip Park, onto Spring Street and through the upper West Side to the High Street bicycle path and ending at Harvey West Park.

SEABRIGHT AREA ROAD CLOSURE --July 3rd through July 5th. At 6:00 pm, all roads through the lower Seabright neighborhood (south of Murray Street) and the Murray Street Bridge will be closed to through traffic. Residents and those with legitimate business will be allowed to access the area.

HOLY GHOST PARADE -- July 5th 10:00 am to 11: 00 am
The parade will occur on Sunday morning July 5th. The parade is planned to start 10:15. Once the parade passes through road closures, the road will be re-opened.
The following are scheduled street closures for parade:
Cathcart Street between Cedar Street and Pacific Avenue
Pacific Avenue between Elm Street and Water Street
Lincoln Street between Cedar Street and Pacific Avenue
Soquel Ave. between Pacific Ave and Parking garage
Cooper Street. between Pacific Ave and Parking garage.
Church Street. between Pacific Ave and Parking garage.
Locust Street. between Pacific Ave and Parking garage.
Front Street between River Street and Water Street
Water Street. between Pacific Ave and River St.
Mission Street between Pacific Avenue and Chestnut Street
Emmett Street between Mission Street and High Street

All fireworks are illegal in the City of Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Police & Fire Department are relying on our partnership with the community to keep us all safe this 4th of July.

June 28, 2016

City of Santa Cruz - Fireworks Prohibited, July 3-5, 2016 Safety Enhancement Zone IncludesTriple Fines

With thousands 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 from July 3rd to July 5th, 2016. This includes expanding the “Triple Fine Zone’ to all of the City of Santa Cruz to protect urban interface areas with dry vegetation.

The Safety Enhancement Zone enacts “Triple Fines” for violations of the Municipal Code. For example, the base fine for fireworks is $110 x3 triple fine =$330 + court fees as high as $1,305.00.

Every available SCPD Officer will be on duty throughout the weekend to insure that residents and visitors enjoy a safe holiday experience.

The Santa Cruz Police Department will be proactively 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. Our patrol teams will be busy, but we will respond to complaints of illegal fireworks. We ask that you are willing to assist us by identifying and signing a complaint against the person(s) responsible. This means the person in possession of the fireworks or the one responsible for putting flame to fuse. We also ask you be willing to testify in court, if necessary. With the increased fire danger this year, we are relying on our partnership with the community to keep us all safe this 4th of July.

City of Santa Cruz - Fireworks Prohibited, July 3-5, 2016 Safety Enhancement Zone IncludesTriple Fines

With thousands 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 from July 3rd to July 5th, 2016. This includes expanding the “Triple Fine Zone’ to all of the City of Santa Cruz to protect urban interface areas with dry vegetation.

The Safety Enhancement Zone enacts “Triple Fines” for violations of the Municipal Code. For example, the base fine for fireworks is $110 x3 triple fine =$330 + court fees as high as $1,305.00.

Every available SCPD Officer will be on duty throughout the weekend to insure that residents and visitors enjoy a safe holiday experience.

The Santa Cruz Police Department will be proactively 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. Our patrol teams will be busy, but we will respond to complaints of illegal fireworks. We ask that you are willing to assist us by identifying and signing a complaint against the person(s) responsible. This means the person in possession of the fireworks or the one responsible for putting flame to fuse. We also ask you be willing to testify in court, if necessary. With the increased fire danger this year, we are relying on our partnership with the community to keep us all safe this 4th of July.

June 27, 2016

Armed Robbers Arrested In Under an Hour! Great Teamwork SCPD & CHP

On early Friday morning 06/24/16 at about 12:32 am, SCPD Officers responded to the 100 block of Trinity Street for a reported armed robbery at knifepoint. The suspects were described as a white male and a Hispanic male in an older white Honda that drove away on Leibrandt Ave after stealing the victim's wallet. With the vehicle description, Santa Cruz Police initiated “Project R.O.P.E.” (Project R.O.P.E. is a multi-agency cooperative where likely travel and escape routes are monitored by law enforcement in Santa Cruz County). A short time later, SCPD and CHP stopped the suspects on Water Street.

George Karagianoupulos, 34 years old from Santa Cruz
The two suspects Aaron Abeyta, 36 years old and George Karagianoupulos, 34 years old were arrested for committing an armed robbery with a knife and attempting to “slash” one of the victims as they made off with his wallet, ID, social security card and cash.
Aaron Abeyta, 36 years old from Santa Cruz
The victims, two Hispanic males age 22 and 21 years old were walking home when they noticed an older white Honda speeding towards them.

The car stopped and the driver, George Karagianoupulos called out asking what gang affiliation they claimed. The pair replied that they were not gang members.

Aaron Abeyta and George Karagianoupulos got out of the car.  Karagianoupulos confronted the victims with a knife and demanded they empty their pockets.  The victims handed over their belongings including a wallet. While in the process of surrendering their belongings, Karagianoupulos punched the other victim in the face. The suspects then got back into the car and sped away down Leibrandt towards Riverside Ave.


Great police teamwork all the way around caught the suspects Aaron Abeyta and George Karagianoupulos before they could get away. Both suspects were positively identified and arrested. The stolen property and knife were recovered in the white 1997 Honda Accord belonging to Karagianoupulos.

SCPD returned the stolen money back to the victim, along with his wallet, ID and credit cards. 

June 24, 2016

Help Identify Suspects Who Crashed Stolen Car Into Store And Stole ATM Machine

SCPD is asking for the public's help to identify the suspects shown in this video. Burglars use a stolen car to crash through the front of a mini-mart and steal the ATM machine.
On Wednesday June 22, 2016 at approximately 3:48 a.m., Santa Cruz Police patrol officers responded to the 800 block of Water Street for an alarm call at DJ’s Minimart. Officers arrived and found the front glass doors and a glass wall pane had been smashed in. The ATM machine was missing from where it was bolted to the floor near the front doors.
Store surveillance video shows a gray colored Honda Accord station wagon intentionally crashing into the store front. The car then pulled forward as two suspects rushed in through the smashed entryway and attempted to pull out the ATM machine. The driver, a third suspect, appears and they struggle trying to remove the ATM. Unable to pull the ATM free, the driver got back in the car and rammed the back end of the wagon into the ATM machine. The ATM was knocked free and the suspects lifted it into the back of the wagon and drove away northbound on Branciforte Avenue.
At approximately 7:45 a.m., Officers recovered the stolen station wagon abandoned in a driveway on the 2000 block of Soquel Avenue and the stolen ATM machine was gone.
The suspects appeared to be three males of unknown race. Two were wearing grey hoodies with the hoods up over their heads. The third was wearing a dark jacket and orange beanie style hat.
Anyone with information relative to the suspect’s identity is encouraged to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigation Unit at (831) 420-5820 or Anonymous Tip Line (831) 420-5995.

June 21, 2016

Press Release: Child Molester Arrested

On Friday June 17, 2016, Santa Cruz Police Detectives arrested suspect Timothy Ritchison for inappropriate lewd and lascivious acts with a child. The victim is a preschool age female. The suspect was known and trusted by the family. Santa Cruz Police Detectives worked tirelessly to investigate this case which led them to El Dorado CA and the arrest of Timothy Ritchison – 47 years old.
      Timothy Ritchison, 47 years old from El Dorado CA
The case came to light at approximately 7:45pm on Thursday 6/16/16 when Santa Cruz Police Officers responded to a report of a car burglary. Officers learned that the reporting party was the victim’s mother. The mother had discovered video evidence of the suspect Timothy Ritchison molesting her child. The shocked and distraught mother confronted Mr. Ritchison with the video and then fled in her car to an acquaintances home to call the police. While the mother and child were in the home, the suspect Timothy Ritchison shattered the passenger side window and stole the video evidence from the car. He then drove away from the scene in his white 2006 Buick sedan.

The location of the incident and age of the victims are not being disclosed to protect their identities.

The successful and efficient investigation included a collaborative effort with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. Santa Cruz Police Detectives worked throughout the night investigating the perpetrator and his whereabouts. A search warrant was served at Mr. Ritchison’s residence and car. The suspect Timothy Ritchison was in custody by 7:15 am on 6/17/16.

In the following interviews with detectives, Mr. Ritchison confessed to the molestation. He gave multiple corroborating statements consistent with the victim’s allegations.

Timothy Ritchison was arrested and booked into the El Dorado County Jail and extradited to the Santa Cruz County Jail on a $250,000 bail. Mr. Ritchison was arrested for lewd and lascivious acts with a minor.

Detectives are continuing to sort through evidence to determine if there are additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigations Unit at (831) 420-5820.

June 17, 2016

Help Us Identify Vandalism Suspect

Our community is amazing at providing us tips and helping us identify suspects from video and photos posted on our blog.  Here is another one to test your detective skills.  

On June 5th at about 1:45 AM our suspect approached the CVS store at 600 Front Street.  After discovering the store was closed and the doors were locked, the suspect kicked the door.  The kick resulted in the lower glass pane breaking. 

The incident is caught on video which was eventually turned over to our officer.  Click below to take a look at the video:

Here are a couple of still shots from the video:




The suspect was described by witnesses as a African American male, approximately 20-30 years, Afro style hair, wearing a maroon hoody style sweatshirt and black pants.  

If you recognize this person, please let us know.  Refer to Case #16S-04682.   You can also drop us a tip by the methods listed below. 

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; www.santacruzpolice.com .  Tipsters can also submit an anonymous tip via our smartphone app or from an SMS text.  Visit our Website for instructions.