February 22, 2017

SCPD Recover Stolen Truck after Pursuit - Suspect Arrested

Yesterday afternoon, Santa Cruz Police arrested Charles Nelson, 46 years old from Santa Cruz, after he led officers on a short pursuit in a stolen vehicle.
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Charles Nelson, 46 years old from Santa Cruz
On Tuesday 2/21/15 at approximately 2:51 p.m. an alert Santa Cruz Police Officer patrolling on the Westside located stolen tan Ford F-150 pickup truck parked on Chico Street. The Officer observed and followed the pickup truck as it drove south on Chico.

SCPD Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The driver of the F-150 truck failed to yield to the officer’s lights and siren and sped away. The truck then turned north onto Swanton, which was closed off to traffic due to crews working on a large tree that had fallen onto the roadway 200 yards north of West Cliff. The suspect drove through the yellow construction tape, over the median and continued north in the southbound lane of Swanton.

Responding officers ended their pursuit due to excessive speed and reckless driving of the suspect. Patrol Officers continued their search for the suspect and quickly found the truck abandoned at West Cliff and Cowell.


Thanks go to witnesses who reported seeing the suspect driver get out the vehicle and sprint away towards the Dream Inn. Several SCPD units responded to the hotel. Officers swiftly located Charles Nelson attempting to blend in with guests inside the hotel. 

The tan F-150 truck that Mr. Nelson was driving was reported stolen six days prior. The stolen vehicle was returned to the registered owner yesterday afternoon.

Further investigation revealed that in addition to this stolen vehicle, Mr. Nelson is on probation for a previously stolen car charge.

Charles Nelson was arrested and transported to jail for vehicle theft, reckless driving, and violation of probation.


SCPD crime prevention tips to help prevent your vehicle from being stolen.
• 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 car or truck 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 car or truck features an alarm or anti-theft device – use it. Thieves are reluctant to steal such vehicles. Many insurers offer discounts for the types of systems listed below.

• Do not leave valuables where they are visible, such as briefcases, purses, wallets, laptop/camera bags, gym bags, cellular phones, or any electronic items or devices. These types of articles make it enticing for thieves.

• Most importantly, always report any suspicious people or vehicles to SCPD. Call 9-1-1. Often the community reporting and calling the police is what leads to a suspects' arrest.

SCPD dedicates itself 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.

February 15, 2017

Press Conference Today at 1:30 pm -Regarding 10/16/16 OIS

Santa Cruz Police Department will hold a press conference on Thursday, February 16, 2017, to provide more information about the officer-involved shooting that occurred on October 16, 2016. The SCPD press conference will follow the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s announcement on the findings of the case.

For our community and public viewing, the press conference will be live-streamed on the Santa Cruz Police Facebook page. Happening TODAY at 1:30 pm.
https://www.facebook.com/santacruzpolice

Reporters must provide press credentials at the door for media participation.

February 14, 2017

Discussion on Neighborhood Crime Tomorrow @ SCPD

Find out what you can do to deter neighborhood crimes? All welcome to the discussion on neighborhood crime on Wednesday 2/15/17 @ SCPD
Burglaries, Car Break-ins, Stolen Cars and those quality-of-life issues of crime in our communities are the topic for discussion at the next Santa Cruz Neighbors meeting, Wednesday, February 15th from 7 -8:30 pm at the Police Department Community Room, 155 Center Street.

Our guest speakers know first-hand about these neighborhood quality-of-life crimes. Sgt. Detective Michael Harms from Property Crimes and East Side Beat Officer Carly Cross will talk about where and how these crimes are happening. Officer Cross is specifically working on East Side burglaries with other officers. How do you have the power to help prevent these types of crimes? What can you do to protect your property and your neighborhood?

February 9, 2017

Chief Kevin Vogel to Retire Following 30 Years of Service

Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel
Photo Credit: Tarmo Hannula, Register-Pajaronian

On February 9, 2017, Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel announced his retirement, effective June 2, 2017.
  Chief Vogel was hired by the Santa Cruz Police Department on February 9, 1987 and was appointed Chief of Police on December 9, 2010. 

Beginning his law enforcement career with the Santa Cruz Police Department, Chief Vogel attended a 16-week basic police academy as a police officer trainee and was sworn in as a police officer in June 1987.  As a police officer, he served as a patrol officer, traffic officer and detective.  He was promoted to sergeant in 1995, where he served as a supervisor in patrol, downtown and investigations.  He was promoted to lieutenant in 2002, where he served in patrol and community services.  He was promoted to deputy chief of police in 2004, where he served in both major divisions of the Police Department.     

Chief Vogel took command of the Santa Cruz Police Department as the 21st Chief of Police on December 9, 2010.  Under his leadership, the Department succeeded in enhancing public safety by leveraging the Department’s effectiveness through the use of emerging technologies.  The Santa Cruz Police Department collaborated with two UC Santa Cruz graduate students to develop a mobile smartphone app, the first of its kind in the industry, that gives community members a wealth of information in the palm of their hand.  The Department was recognized by the League of California Cities as a recipient of the Helen Putnam Award of Excellence for the development of the mobile smartphone app.  The Santa Cruz Police Department collaborated with a Santa Clara University math professor to develop and introduce a technology known as Predictive Policing, a concept in which historical crime data is used to predict areas within the City that have the highest probability for future criminal activity to occur.  Time Magazine named the Santa Cruz Police Department’s Predictive Policing technology as one of the 50 best inventions of 2011.  The Santa Cruz Police Department has increased transparency and community involvement through the creation of a Chief’s Advisory Committee comprised of community members, a Citizen’s Police Academy offered in English and Spanish, a Teen Public Safety Academy, as well as the P.R.I.D.E. program geared toward keeping at-risk youth out of gangs.

“For thirty years, Kevin served the Santa Cruz community with honor and distinction.  He is a model of integrity and professionalism and it has been an honor to work with him,” stated City Manager Martín Bernal.  “He epitomizes the values of teamwork, leadership, and public service. He has dedicated his career to improving the quality of life in our community and responding to the significant public safety issues faced by cities.” 

In reflecting on his career, Chief Vogel said that “it has been a tremendous honor to work alongside the dedicated men and women in the Police Department, and to serve the Santa Cruz community.  I will miss each and every employee.”

Following his departure, Chief Vogel will shift his focus to spending much more time with his family, traveling and completing many unfinished home projects.  


The City Manager will begin the process to identify Chief Vogel's successor in the coming months.   

Chief Kevin Vogel Celebrates 30-Years with Santa Cruz P.D.


Today, Chief Kevin Vogel celebrates his 30th anniversary with the Santa Cruz Police Department.  Chief Vogel was hired as a police officer trainee and started the 16-week basic police academy on February 9, 1987.  He graduated the police academy in June, 1987 and was sworn in as a police officer.  He completed the department’s 12-week field training program in September, 1987 and began working as a solo police officer.  

During his tenure as a police officer, Chief Vogel served as a patrol officer, traffic officer and detective.  He was promoted to sergeant in January, 1995 where he served as a patrol supervisor, downtown supervisor and detective sergeant.  He was promoted to lieutenant in 2002, serving as a patrol watch commander and in the Community Services Section.  He was promoted to deputy chief of police in May, 2004, where he spent time as the division commander in both major divisions of the police department.  He was appointed as the City’s 21st chief of police on December 9, 2010.

Please join us in congratulating Chief Vogel as he celebrates his 30th anniversary with the Santa Cruz Police Department. 

February 6, 2017

Victim Identified in Confirmed Hit & Run Fatality Investigation

Updated Information as of 2/7/17 
Santa Cruz Police Department and the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office have confirmed the deceased woman found yesterday in the roadway was a victim of a vehicle versus pedestrian collision.

The victim in the hit and run investigation has been identified as Bianca Zipper, a 26-year-old Austrian citizen. She and her husband were traveling through Santa Cruz on vacation.

Detectives are following up on video surveillance in the area looking for additional information or evidence.

The Santa Cruz Police Department is requesting assistance from any potential witnesses or member of the public who may have information regarding this case.

Background:
On Monday 2/6/2017 at approximately 2:38 am, the Santa Cruz Police Department and the Santa Cruz Fire Department responded to the report of a woman found lying in the roadway on Seabright Avenue south of Broadway. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel.

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has information is asked to Detective Williams at dwilliams@cityofsantacruz.com or 831-420-5839 or leave a message with our anonymous tip-line 831-420-5995.


2/6/17 - Media Release
The Santa Cruz Police is seeking assistance with a possible hit and run fatality that occurred on 2/6/2017.

On Monday 2/6/2017 at approximately 2:38 am, the Santa Cruz Police responded to the report of a person lying in the roadway on Seabright Avenue south of Broadway. On arrival, Officers located a woman who was pronounced deceased by medical personnel.

After an initial investigation by the Santa Cruz Police Department and the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office, it was determined that the deceased was possibly  the victim of a hit and run driver.

The victim was in her mid-20’s. It is unknown at this time what ties, if any, she had to the Santa Cruz Community.

The identity of the victim will be withheld until proper notification of next of kin is complete. The Santa Cruz Police and the Coroner’s office will release the victim’s name at that time.

Currently, no vehicle descriptions are available. The Santa Cruz Police Department is requesting assistance from any potential witnesses or member of the public who may have information regarding this case.

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has information is asked to Detective Williams at dwilliams@cityofsantacruz.com or 831-420-5839 or leave a message with our anonymous tip-line 831-420-5995.

February 1, 2017

Cold Case Reboot -The Mystery of “Pogonip Jane”

In December 2013, “Pogonip Jane” was identified as Kori Joanne Lamaster. This cold case did not end with her identification.
SCPD is looking for information from anyone who might have had contact with Kori as she traveled through the Santa Cruz area around 1993. Kori was 17 years old at the time of her death. She was traveling along California’s coast from Pacifica to Santa Cruz.
For Kori’s and other cold cases, click here www.cityofsantacruz.com/departments/police/cold-cases

SCPD Cold Case Team will post updates to share on our social media platforms and website to highlight one unsolved homicide case a month. Shareable resources to reach out and encourage people with information to contact us. --- It’s never too late to help.

Click to past SCPD Cold Case Related Articles
SCPD is hoping to have the Cold Case Webpage shared as widely as possible. Even someone with second or third-hand information about what happened may hold the missing piece of the puzzle that helps us to crack the case, solve a mystery, and bring justice to the victim’s family and her friends.

If you have information about any of these unsolved murders, contact SCPD through our anonymous tip line 831-420-5995 or SCPD Investigations 831-420-5820. Contact Ron Truhitte at RTruhitte@cityofsantacruz.com